As we have previously stated in our “PCB West 2015” article, the IPC-2581 Consortium will be attending PCB West 2015! Visit us at Booth 610 to speak with a representative of the IPC-2581 Consortium, where we will demonstrate the input and export of IPC-2581 from different tools. The IPC-2581 Consortium will also be hosting a Free Design Session, “An Update on Design Data Transfer Using IPC-2581.” Hemant Shah of Cadence Design Systems on behalf of the Consortium will be presenting on Wednesday, September 16th, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
The 2-16 Product Data Description (Laminar View) Subcommittee (IPC-2581) met in February during the IPC APEX Expo in San Diego CA. At this meeting final details for amendments and document updates as well as slight Schema modifications were addressed. The main focus of the meeting was to focus on an amendment of IPC-2581 Revision B to IPC-2581 Revision B1.
As part of the B1 modification, more descriptions, enumerated type and qualified string enhancements were made to enable adoption of 2581 Revision B without any structural changes to the schema. Examples for enhancements include, but are not limited to items such a more layer use type descriptions (flex type materials, masks, etc.), additional properties for parts and stack-up objects. The IPC-2581 Schema Document was also updated to record the new enhancements, correct spelling, and updated items overlooked between the schema and the document.
IPC-2581 is rapidly gaining support in the PCB design community as an "intelligent," vendor-neutral format that can bring design data into manufacturing in a single file. The PCB West conference in Santa Clara, California on Sept. 10, 2014 provided an update on this fast-moving standard and the IPC-2581 Consortium that is driving it.
Enhancements to the stackup and assembly data have the supply chain signing on to the electronics data transfer format.
Eighteen months ago, Fujitsu Networks Communications CAD engineering manager Gary Carter shipped CAD files for a 12-layer PCB in the IPC-2581A format to a major board fabricator. The fabricator responded, asking for a drawing and profile information. It's all there, Carter said, it just has to be derived from the CAD file.
The fabricator proceeded, and other than missing some data for machine routing for cutouts and V groove, Carter recalls, "They worked around what their CAM tool couldn't handle, and they built it."