IPC-2581: Consortium Leads the Way in 2011


2011 has been another eventful year in the PCB industry. As with all industries, we have seen our share of good news and bad news, mergers and acquisition, product announcements, plant expansions and company closings. But for me, there was one announcement that stood head and shoulders above the rest fro news worthiness: the formation of the IPC-2581 Consortium.

The IPC-2581 Consortium's charter is simple: To accerlerate the adoption of IPC-2581 as an open, neutrally maintained global standard to encourage innovation, improve efficiency and reduce costs. The members of the consortium will openly support and promote the adoption and usage of IPC-2581 by enabling their products, offerings and services to import/ export/ consume IPC-2581.

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Intercept Announces Support for IPC-2581


Intercept Technology Inc., a leader in PCB/Hybrid/RF electrical engineering applications, announced support for IPC-2581 today. It is the fourteenth company in the industry that officially announced support IPC-2581 and join IPC-2581 consortium.

“Intercept has always been a strong supporter of open data transfer, and continues to support such efforts with our commitment to provide the IPC-2581 file format. As one of the few vendors that still utilize open ASCII formats for all of its output files, the IPC-2581 will be added to Intercept’s suite of ASCII manufacturing output options within the next year. Intercept strongly supports vendor collaboration for the promotion of improved design and manufacture practices, and is pleased to be a part of the IPC-2581 Consortium.”

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Spirited discussion at PCB West ———— More companies join IPC-2581 Consortium


After successful panel discussion and booth display of IPC-2581 Consortium on PCB West on September 28th, more companies are joining the consortium to accelerate the use of IPC-2581 in the industry. The new members are Artwork Conversion Software, Inc and EasyLogix Software Development.

 On October 1, 2011, Artwork Conversion Software announced in Santa Cruzthat that it is joining the IPC 2581 consortium and will develop an IPC2581 readerthat will bolt together with several of their translation engines used by electronicdesigners.

  “Supporting IPC2581 will enable our board design users and our OEM partners to work with any type of intelligent board data files that their end users require of them.”

 They also promised that the development of the 2581 parser will be completed in Q1 2012 and first translators using the IPC2581 front end will be available 30 days thereafter.

Read more: Spirited discussion at PCB West ———— More companies join IPC-2581 Consortium

IPC-2581 Panel: A Spirited Discussion on PCB Data Transfer Formats


A lively panel discussion Sept. 29 revealed that PCB designers have some strong opinions about the data formats that convey design intent to manufacturing. Several audience members expressed support for the Gerber data format that has been around for over 30 years. But other audience members and panelists agreed that a more intelligent and up-to-date format is needed, and that an open industry standard called IPC-2581 appears to be the best way forward.

The panel, titled "Data Transfer in the 21st Century," was held at the PCB West conference in Santa Clara, California. The moderator was Mike Buetow, editorial director of the UP Media Group. Panelists were as follows, shown left to right in the photo below:

  • Hemant Shah, product marketing director, Cadence
  • Rick Almeida, founder and director of marketing, DownStream Technologies
  • Max Clark, product marketing manager, Valor division, Mentor Graphics
  • Dana Korf, director of product engineering, Sanmina-SCI
  • Gary Carter, CAD engineering manager, Fujitsu Network Communication

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