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July 2014 • The PCB Magazine 59 especially when the new format is as complex as ODB++. The problems that would arise from such a move would be significant, and would hound the industry for many years. The simplest, most practical path forward is to fix bugs in current implementations, and adopt Gerber X2 functionality. One of the best things about this path is that it is incredibly kind on the industry, while enabling the PCB industry to benefit from all the advantages that ODB++ claims to deliver in Coates' article, but with none of the downsides. This is because it does not involve the wholesale adoption of a new format. Furthermore, the Figure 1: the column on the right can be achieved at low cost, without breaking workflows, in an upwardly compatible way. GERBER—THE SMARTEST WAY FORWARD continues

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