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34 The PCB Design Magazine • September 2014 ODB++ is a complete PCB manufacturing exchange data format that contains all of the data required for defining a PCB product in manufacturing. "ODB" stands for Open Data Base, with the format openly available to any- one who registers as a member of the ODB++ Solutions Alliance. All of the fabrication requirements such as the graphical definition of the layers or me- chanical information, the underlying data represented in drawings such as the drill draw- ings, fabrication instructions, layer buildup definition, and also the information required for bare-board testing and automatic optical inspection are included in the ODB++ product model. For PCB assembly, all of the manufac- turing information is included: the solder paste definitions, the component placements and rotations, the BOM, and the approved vendor list for alternative parts, as well as the ICT test- point locations. All the product model content is contained within a simple archive that can be sent to those in the manufacturing supply chain. In the newest version of ODB++, v8, content has been added based on input received from the thousands of people who use ODB++ and solutions-development partners worldwide, ei- ther directly or through the technical support channels of CAD/CAM tool vendors. Version 8 contains significant incremental improvements over the current mainstream version (ODB++ v7), and is designed to enable a smooth transi- tion to higher levels of process integration and automation across the design/fabrication/as- sembly/test PCB flow. ODB++ v8 enables software tools such as DFM analysis and CAM systems to perform their tasks with the minimum dependency on keyboard/mouse input and the maximum level of automation based on the intelligence embed- ded in the software-model of the PCB product. What's Contained in an ODB++ Product Model Within any ODB++ product model are the PCB Steps. Originating from the term "step and repeat," the ODB++ Step is a container for all the elements required for a PCB object. A Step can be a single PCB object, an assembly panel object, or a fabrication panel object containing a number of assembly panels. feature by Julian Coates vAlOr DIvISIOn, MenTOr GrAPHICS

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