The 16.6 Allegro PCB Editor now has IPC 2581 data transfer capabilities. Thanks to Ed Hickey – the Allegro Sr. Product Engineering Manager - for preparing this information below.
Read on for more details …
IPC 2581 Overview
PCBs have changed significantly over the past three decades, yet to the surprise of many, we still commonly use 30-year-old ways of communicating design intent to manufacturing. These decades old data-communication formats were originally conceived to drive the emerging numerically controlled machines. The Gerber format, properly implemented, is perfectly adequate to transfer image data, but it does not transfer stackup data, materials, design intent or netlist. IPC, the trade group, has been aware of the challenges and dynamics of the PCB design and manufacturing segment and has been an ardent advocate for the replacement of old data-communication formats.
In early 2001, iNEMI (the International National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative) stepped in to lead a broad, industry-wide project to define the definitive data exchange convergence specification. The goal was to enable accurate, efficient data exchange between designers and manufacturers of printed circuit boards (PCB) and assemblies using a single XLM-based data exchange format. From this effort, an IPC committee developed a new standard, IPC-2581, Generic Requirements for Printed Board Assembly Products Manufacturing Description Data and Transfer Methodology; it was released in March 2004.