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Design007-Oct2021

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68 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2021 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 To get some feedback from a PCB prototype manufacturer about design data formats, we asked Matt Stevenson, Sunstone's VP of sales and marketing, to weigh in. As Matt explains, his company is equally at home using Gerber or ODB++, but it's not the fabricator's job to convince customers to use one data format over another. In the end, you should use the format that gives you the best results. Andy Shaughnessy: I know that Sunstone Cir- cuits deals with more than one type of design data format. What's your overall take on design data formats? Matt Stevenson: Yes. Sunstone is a PCB manu- facturer, so our view on data formats is mainly from the manufacturing and CAM processing standpoint. Our primary goal is to receive files that are accurate and well-defined. Most of our CAM processes were set up to automate Ger- ber files. ODB++ files are showing that they can be easily adapted to our process. We are not seeing much in terms of the IPC-2581 for- mat and have not been able to evaluate their effectiveness and adaptability to our process. Shaughnessy: What features do you value the most about ODB++? Stevenson: When loading into CAM soware, there is a single ODB++ file as opposed to multiple files in a zip file, with potentially hun- dreds of different naming conventions. When importing, all the layers come in predefined, the stackup is already present, and the drill files aligned, so it makes it easier in CAM and eliminates the guesswork. Shaughnessy: What benefits do you get from utilizing ODB++? Stevenson: From a CAM standpoint there is really no difference between this data format and Gerber once it's loaded, but it does make it easier to get all the data identified, aligned, and ready to begin the CAM tooling process. Sunstone Circuits: Use the Design Data Format That Gives You Best Results Matt Stevenson

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