WILSONVILLE, OR -- Mentor Graphics today said the latest version of its ODB++ electronics data transfer format, released today, has virtual documentation capability that seamlessly translates all data files, drawings, and documents from PCB design through the manufacturing flow.

Simultaneously, Mentor announced its support to the IPC-2581 Consortium and accompanying format standardization efforts.

ODB++ version 8.1 provides a single and open data structure for transferring printed circuit board designs into data for fabrication, assembly and test. The open format, Mentor said, eliminates the need to create and validate disparate documentation content, supporting all electronic design automation tool flows.

Users of the new ODB++ version will be able to share all the necessary manufacturing instructions as electronic data, making new product introduction (NPI) more efficient for all partners in the supply chain.

"The idea behind virtual documentation content is to replace a disparate set of drawings, documents and instructions with data elements that allow the recipient tool to automate the planning and execution of the manufacturing process preparation actions. An example would be to define the solder mask finish color within ODB++ so that a PCB fabricator can automatically generate the process, material and routing instructions for that individual factory," Mentor said.

ODB++ v. 8.1 also includes support for EDA-based design net connectivity shorts. For designs in which one or more nets are intentionally shorted into a single net, v. 8.1 now carries that net attribute so that all downstream processes can be streamlined and automated.

Additionally, content for rigid-flex buildup zones to define regions within the basic stack-up (either unique or within the same region) on the board can be carried forward into analysis and in the actual material-based stack-up definition. This feature delivers accurate impedance calculations, using tools such as the Frontline InStack for this capability. By accurately identifying the physical boundary of different stack-up areas for a rigid-flex circuit, the correct DfM rules can be applied automatically, and rigid-flex circuit manufacturers can easily and accurately calculate the impedance values for the circuit using their choice of materials.

"With our latest ODB++ intelligent product model format, we now offer customers a complete and open design-through-manufacturing ecosystem," said A.J. Incorvaia, vice president and general manager of Mentor's Systems Design division. "Our mission is to provide our customers with the best tools and technologies to increase overall product quality and productivity. This includes support for ODB++ and IPC-2581, giving our customers a choice in data exchange formats for hand-off to manufacturing."

"I am very pleased that Mentor Graphics has chosen to participate in the IPC-2581 consortium. Both Mentor's successful ODB++ experiences and the successes of the IPC-2581 consortium make a winning combination in our country's efforts to optimize the design-to-manufacturing ecosystem. I look forward to witnessing the progress of this exciting and challenging effort," said Gary Ferrari, technical support director, FTG Circuits. Ferrari has been a leader in writing and validating various EDA data transfer formats since the 1980s.


Register now for PCB West, the Silicon Valley's largest trade show for printed circuit board design, fabrication and assembly: Sept. 15-17 at the Santa Clara Convention Center pcbwest.com

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