ODB++ PCB CAD Data

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I am having an old board made and am being asked for ODB++ format CAD data  
files.  It seems this is to facilitate the creation of the various machine  
control files.  I'm told it can also support locating traces to assist in d
ebugging.  My CAD package doesn't support this.  Would it be a hard thing f
or the developers to add?  

https://www.odb-sa.com/wp-content/uploads/odb_spec_user-2.pdf


Doing a little digging I see it is a proprietary format promoted as open an
d seems to be most commonly used while there are alternative formats which  
do the same job.  Seems Gerber has been updated to X2 by adding attributes  
which can identify the file purpose, pad functions, etc.  Add netlist infor
mation using IPC-D-356A and the data set is complete.  

https://www.ucamco.com/en/file-formats/gerber/downloads

https://web.pa.msu.edu/hep/atlas/l1calo/hub/hardware/components/circuit_boa
rd/ipc_356a_net_list.pdf


Then there is IPC-2581.  Decades ago IPC created an end to end format to co
nvey all board design info.  I don't recall the nomenclature, but they neve
r got support (I think mostly because the industry is very parochial and do
esn't look very far ahead) resulting in the standard(s) being dropped.  I d
on't know if IPC-2581 is a consolidation of that effort or a new effort, bu
t it is gaining ground.  

I don't know which format is better or if more than one should be supported
.  I've been asked by two companies for ODB++ format.  One asked for it to  
debug boards after fabrication and the other wants it to support setting up
 their assembly machines.  I didn't know about the other formats at the tim
e so I didn't ask.  

Rick C.

https://ts.la/richard11209 - Tesla referral code

Re: ODB++ PCB CAD Data


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The problem with the ODB++ format is that there isn't any decent free
software to open it (as far as I know).

My preferred solution is to use the CAM350 format, which is a Downstream
Technology proprietary format but it can be opened with their free viewer:

https://www.downstreamtech.com/CAMvu.php

It supports most of the ODB++ features (net/component highlighting, etc).
In fact most of the PCB layout designers I've dealt with can export either
in CAM350 and ODB++.

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