SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

Standard Gerber Declared Obsolete.

Jun 24, 2014

Open letter to the Gerber User Community.

As the developer and custodian of the Gerber format, Ucamco hereby wishes to announce the following to the Gerber User Community: Standard Gerber is now technologically obsolete.

  • Despite its name, Standard Gerber is not a defined standard for PCB data transfer. Units and aperture definitions, rather than being governed by a recognisable standard, are transmitted in informal documents which are open to interpretation. As a result, Standard Gerber files cannot be machine-read in a standardized, reliable way.
  • Standard Gerber requires aperture painting and copper pours, both of which create manual work in CAM, adding cost, delay and risk to the PCB manufacturing process.
  • Standard Gerber does not support attributes.

Standard Gerber no longer complies with the Gerber specification, and has been fully superseded by the current Extended Gerber format. Extended Gerber files ARE machine readable, they DO NOT require painting, and they DO support attributes. Virtually all software can read Extended Gerber files, while few of the new implementations can read the older Standard Gerber format.

For this reason, Ucamco's position regarding Gerber is as follows: There is not a single good reason left to use Standard Gerber. If you are still using it, you are exposing your business and that of your clients and partners to needless competitive disadvantage and risk, and you are fully responsible for any issues that might arise as a result of its use.

Please use Extended Gerber for all your operations.

Thank you.

Karel Tavernier,
Managing Director,
Ucamco

For more information please read the full article with illustrated motivation on our website.


Ucamco (formerly Barco ETS) is a market leader in PCB CAM software, photoplotting and direct imaging systems, with a global network of sales and support centers. Headquartered in Ghent, Belgium, Ucamco has over 25 years of ongoing experience in developing and supporting leading-edge photoplotters and front-end tooling solutions for the global PCB industry. Key to this success is the company's uncompromising pursuit of engineering excellence in all its products.

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