Gerber RS-274X is the standard format for printed circuit board design software . It is used to make approximately 90% of all PCB designed today in the world. Yet despite its popularity Gerber imposes a number of practical limitations, which can lead to a wide variety of issues throughout the manufacturing process. Fortunately, there are solutions. The open standards Gerber X2 and IPC-2581 were developed to solve the problems inherent in RS-274X. What are X2 and IPC-2581 doing that RS-274X is unable to do? Let’s take a closer look at these formats, in order to understand the advantages they offer over the industry standard.
Gerber RS-274X is a comprehensive image description format. This means that an Extended Gerber file contains the complete description of a PCB layer, which indicates everything an operator needs to generate a PCB image and which allows any shape of opening to be defined. Unlike the Gerber Standard format, Gerber X does not require support for additional external opening files. It clearly and simply specifies planes and pads, without the need for painting or vector filling. The Gerber RS-274X format quickly replaced the Gerber Standard as the de facto standard for PCB image data. It is still used around the world to make about 90% of all PCBs designed today.
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