Who is in need of PCB Gerber files and what are they?

The next step toward completing the product design is to enter the schematic details into a computer-based schematic capture program once a natural philosophy style engineer has completed their application circuit design.

An electronic design automation (EDA) or computer-controlled design (PCB CAD) software package’s schematic capture program can generate a list from the finished schematic that outlines each electrical connection between each electronic component.

When developing a printed circuit board using EDA or PCB CAD software, the computer circuit board or PCB designer uses this internet list. The physical assembly and interconnection platform for the various electronic components required by the schematic can be provided by the finished printed circuit board.

The printed circuit board is made up of one or more layers of insulant, like epoxy-filled fiberglass, that separate the semiconducting copper layers and provide the board with mechanical strength. The semiconducting copper plating is used to make the component pads and interconnection traces.

Parts would be on the highest side of a one-layer board, and connecting traces would be on the rock bottom. There are two possible configurations for a double-layer board: it may only have components on the top side, or it may have components on both the top and bottom sides, as well as connecting traces on each side. There would be components and traces on both the top and bottom sides of a multilayer board, as well as a number of internal layers used for interconnections, voltage, and ground plane layers.

Ad powered. In addition, a series of knowledge files for each semiconducting layer—top, bottom, and any internal layers—provide comprehensive information about the finished board design to the PCB CAD or EDA program. The standard format for these data files is the Gerber File format, after the pioneering photoplotter manufacturer Gerber Scientific Instruments Company.

The initial Gerber format followed the EIA RS-274D standard and included a tool description file and command files for each conductive layer. A photoplotter might be equipped with the knowledge necessary to create a graphic representation thanks to the command file’s collection of brief commands, each of which was followed by a collection of X and Y coordinates. The Gerber files were given to these command files. The dimensional information and trace line widths for each pad and geometric shape on the layer were outlined in the tool description file, or aperture file.

The computer-generated data files for the computer circuit board design are then sent to a printed circuit board fabrication company for production of the actual boards. The Gerber files contain all of the information that is required for the computer-controlled machines at PCB fabrication facilities to print the copper layers for the element pads and association traces, drill all of the required holes, and cut the board to the desired size.

The older Gerber format EIA RS-274D always assumed a group of command files, one for each PCB layer and one tool description file, or aperture file, since a PCB could have one to several semiconducting layers. Since there was no standard for aperture files, each EDA or PCB CAD product had its own version of the format. The aperture data would need to be manually re-entered in the event that the computer circuit board fabrication facility was unable to scan the aperture file format as it was sent.

The aperture information is embedded in the file headers of every command or Gerber file in the more recent Gerber format, which conforms to EIA RS-274X. Typically, this more recent format is referred to as X-Gerber. Each X-Gerber file is professional because the aperture information is enclosed at intervals in the header.