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Migrating Legacy Data in the PCB Industry



Matthew L. Aronoff, John V. Messina


The printed circuit board (PCB) industry has been using the Gerber (RS-274) file format for decades, resulting in a substantial library of legacy designs. One of the main drawbacks of the Gerber format is that it does not convey design intent. In order to support industry in their adoption of new, data- model-driven PCB standards that provide a greater feature set to designers, NIST has developed a translator from the Gerber format. Currently, the translator is capable of outputting IPC-2581 files; these files are XML-based and have been developed by industry to contain more useful metadata than the original Gerber files. Other output modules may be added in the future. This paper documents the development of the translator, focusing on the transformation of the implicit data model from one format to another.
Proceedings Title
PDE 2006: The 8th NASA-ESA Workshop on Product Data Exchange (PDE)
Conference Dates
April 26-28, 2006
Conference Location
Cannes, 1, FR


2581, gerber, ipc, pcb, software, standards, translator, xml


Aronoff, M. and Messina, J. (2006), Migrating Legacy Data in the PCB Industry, PDE 2006: The 8th NASA-ESA Workshop on Product Data Exchange (PDE), Cannes, 1, FR, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created March 31, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021