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