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12 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team ere has been a lot of activity by the intel- ligent design data formats over the past year, and the newcomers (which are not really that new) are gaining users. But the overwhelming majority of PCB designs are still output in Ger- ber, a 60-year-old format that was never meant to convey PCB designs to manufacturers. e I-Connect007 Editorial Team recently spoke with Karel Tavernier, managing director of Ucamco, which now takes care of the Gerber format; and Gerber advocate Dirk Stans, man- aging director of Eurocircuits. ey discuss why Gerber continues to be the most popular format for PCB designers, the advantages it offers designers and fabricators, and what the future holds for this resilient format. Andy Shaughnessy: Karel, would you walk us through the history of Gerber and the most recent revisions? The Case for Gerber: Interview with Karel Tavernier and Dirk Stans Karel Tavernier: Gerber goes back a long time. It was originally the input format of the Gerber line of photoplotters. It was a pure image for- mat. ere were a lot of photoplotter-specific variants. Gerber was very successful; many people adopted a Gerber format or variants of it as their image format. Ucamco took over Gerber Systems Corp. in 1998. At that time, we brought out Extended Gerber, which, essentially, was a unification and simplifica- tion of the Gerber family of image formats. A lot of machine-specific stuff was thrown out, and it became a simple and clear unified for- mat. It was wildly successful, and everyone adopted it. at's about the same time that ODB came out, around 1995. Extended Gerber came to be the dominant format—not that it was neces- sarily better or worse than ODB, but because it was simple to adopt and largely compatible with existing soware. For a long time, noth- ing changed from the Gerber format. ODB added component information, and this was

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