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PCB and PCBA Files Format

Jarnistech > PCB and PCBA Files Format
PCB Files Format

Types of Files Required for PCB Manufacturing and PCB Assembly

It’s an excellent question that could create confusion at times.To assemble a printed circuit board safely and smoothly, it is necessary to have some design files. According to your PCB assembly maker, specific requirements may differ.

At JarnisTech, We accept various file formats in order to create or construct printed circuit boards. We’ll gladly answer any questions you may have regarding the types of files that are accepted or look over the files that you’ve got in case you’re unsure.

Tips: In order to make sure that nothing is lost, .zip all files relevant to the issue into one .zip as well as .rar document.

Bare PCB Fabrication

● Gerber RS-274X (Preferred)
● ODB++
● PCB Express (.pcb)

Gerber can be described as an unrestricted ASCII vector file format for designing printed circuit boards that illustrate various components of a board, such as copper layer, solder mask design, etc. A variety of applications can use this format since it’s easy to read, comes with detailed specifications, and is free of bugs due to its widespread application and debugging. Gerber’s simple format makes it easy to spot and fix bugs.

There are three generations of Gerber, including the Gerber X2 (current version), Extended Gerber, also known as RS-274X, and Standard Gerber, also known as the RS-274D and is now outdated. The format Gerber X2 includes information about stack-ups of layers that was not present previously available in earlier versions. Software that can support the X2 format can read and determine the function of each item’s within the file.

The RS-274X file provides the full description of a PCB layers image without the need for external files. It includes all imaging operations required to create an image of a PCB. Every aperture shape is possible to define as negative and positive objects. Planes can be specified. There is no need to “paint” or “vector-fill” planes as in RS-274-D.

The RS-274X is an all-inclusive strong and precise standard for describing PCB layers. It can be inputted and processed completely in a completely automated manner. This makes it ideal for speedy and secure data transmission as well as efficient and automated workflows.

When sending Gerber, please include the following information:

Soldermask layers.
● Silk screen/legend layers.
● All copper layers (inner & outer).
● Through plugging layers (if appropriate).
● Solder paste layers (for assembly).
● Aperture list (If apertures are not embedded in Gerber data)

Our Auto File Verification program assigns PCB layers process, Could you please tell us which Gerber file belongs to which layer? This table can help by using a few common programs.

Software: Eagle

File ExtensionDescription
cmpTop Copper
solBottom Copper
stcTop Soldermask
stsBottom Soldermask
plcTop Silkscreen
plsBottom Silkscreen
drdNC Drill

Software: Orcad

File ExtensionDescription
gtlTop Copper
gblBottom Copper
gtsTop Soldermask
gbsBottom Soldermask
gtoTop Silkscreen
gboBottom Silkscreen
drlNC Drill

ODB+ File Format

There’s been a lot of debate over the Gerber format and whether ODB formats are more suitable for designing PCBs. Certain designers and shops favor either format over the other. At JarnisTech, we favor ODB formats. This is a brief overview of both formats, along with their pros and cons.

Open Database ODB++ is a method for exchanging circuit board design data between computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). The format was initially introduced as ODB in the year 2000, and the “++” version was added following an update that added components. ODB++, also known as ODB++, is an ASCII file that contains all details about the circuit board’s layout.

In CAD, printed circuit boards are designed and then transferred into CAM. The CAD as well as software for CAM are generally developed by different companies, and they have to come to an agreement on the form that data is exchanged. ODB++ is a manufacturing-oriented program. A lot of shops use this format due to the fact that it is since one file can contain all the data required for the job. However, certain Gerbers require additional information in multiple files to understand the layers of images. This removes the need to scrutinize every file for bugs.

One file includes stackup, layers,drilling, masking,net dataDifferent   image formatSimpleMultiple files needed
Widely usedMore complex format than GerberWidely usedRequires examination of all files at fabricator
Undergoes DFM / quality checks/Specification is precise/
Easy to transfer to fabricator/Format supported by free viewers/

PCB Assembly (PCBA)

To assemble PCBs, we will require the same documents that are needed to build the basic PCB as well as information about the components, and that these some components will be put on your PCB board and which locations. These files will be required.

● BOM (Bill Of Materials)
● Pick and Place (PNP)
● Component Placement List (CPL)
● Solder Paste (for Stencil)

Photos of PCB board assembled correctly (top and bottom, in case they are available but not necessary).
Specific Instructions (if relevant)

What Is Bill of Materials ( BOM)

The bill of materials is a comprehensive listing of parts, assemblies, and subassemblies needed to produce a product. Manufacturers must rely on the details contained in their BOM for the creation of products.

Therefore it must be precise and detailed. BOMs allow customers to communicate to the printed circuit board or PCB assembler what exactly they require when they purchase circuit boards. It is used by the assembler to create the board according to the specifications of the client.

PCB assembly services provided by JarnisTech, like those provided by other PCB manufacturers and assemblers, therefore, BOMs play a crucial role in the PCB assembly services

What Type of BOM Would Be Suitable in SMT

It should include all the specifications, including the original manufacturer’s Part number, Footprint, Quantity, Value, and other specifications, such as the parts Designator as well as other specifications.

What is the reason why BOM contains EQ (Engineer question) and requests a complete Manufacturer Part Number for components?

A lot of SMT manufacture are aware it is necessary to buy components in accordance with the BOM supplied by engineers and distributors. They often request additional information about the component. In other words, they aren’t sure what component they should provide to you. In certain cases, the purchased components may not be put for PCB boards. What causes this to be the case? The issue is that a few layout engineers have no experience and could not provide the full Manufacturing Part Numbers.

What Is a Bill of Materials Used For

In SMT manufacturers, the bill of material is the link for communication and contact with various departments and people. It is utilized in a variety of departments as well as systems, and particular information is collected from the BOM. Examples:

● Design department:The person who designs the BOM and also the person who uses the BOM. They must get information about all parts and also information about the structure through the BOM.

● The department of process technology:Creates every part’s manufacturing method along with the assembly procedure in accordance with the BOM. They also design and manufacture tools, jigs, as well as molds for PCB assembly.

● SMT department:As per the BOM, mount the components on the PCB. According to the BOM, the warehouse distributes the components.

● Department of Finance and Purchase:They is responsible for determining the price for the finished product based on the cost of each purchased or self-made item in the BOM.

● QC department: Ensures that proper products are manufactured according to BOM.

Files Required to PCBA

BOM (Bill of Materials)

BOMs (Bills of Materials) are also called Bills of Materials. A BOM must always be submitted in XLS (or XLSX) format because it is a standard and easy-to-use format that is flexible. Every line of the BOM represents an individual component on the board.

The following details are needed:

● PCB Part Number: So we can tell the board what your BOM is for.

● Assembly Type: Please let us know if you require RoHS assembly or Leaded.

● Line Number: When discussing your design, you can easily refer to different lines in the BOM.

● Ref Designator: The Reference Designator is printed on the PCB’s silkscreen. Without this, we won’t determine the best place to put the piece. Check that your board’s reference numbers are clearly labeled.

● Qty: The number of components in this line item in the one (1) PCB.

● Internal Part#: Many companies create internal part numbers to identify their designs. This is totally acceptable. Of course, we aren’t aware the meaning of your internal part numbers mean, and this is included solely to help you. There is the possibility of a cross-reference between your own part numbers and the official manufacturer’s part numbers.

●Mfg Part Number: Manufacturer’s Official Part Number. This is what we look for when ordering your part or researching data sheets. Check that your part numbers are accurate. When it comes to search results, even omission 1 character can make a huge difference.

● Description: This is a second check to ensure the part number from the manufacturer is what you are planning to utilize. This also helps speed up the initial quote process so that we can quickly determine the types of components that need to be put in place.

● Notes: Any comments you would like to share about this item? You might already have a hard-to-find part in stock and plan on sending it to us along with your order. Perhaps there’s a component you’d like to install yourself, or perhaps it’s not required on this model. It is important to take special care to make sure the part is oriented correctly or if you have the right source to buy this part.

BOM Application With Form-specific Features:

● It is the base for computer-generated identification materials.
● This is the base to develop the plan.
● It is the base of picking and supporting.
● According to its tracking of processing processes.
● It is the foundation for outsourcing and procuring.
● According to the cost calculations.
● Can be used as a quote reference.
● To ensure traceability of the material.
● So that you can use the Design Series, Standardization and generalization.

Shenzhen JarnisTech not only has extensive experience testing and selecting electronic components, through data query, circuit analysis, and other techniques that allow you to quickly and accurately determine the parts of the model as well as their related parameters.

Additionally, it is equipped with high-precision measurement equipment. Marks are clearly visible on the device. At JarnisTech, we can provide standard full information on parts (BOM single) that allows the customer to reduce time and money, as well as accelerate the manufacturing process for the item.

Using JarnisTech’s professional BOM inventory production services, you’ll get standardized, complete information, high efficiency and accuracy, and you’ll be able to quickly determine the list of procurement and production plans, cost estimates, and estimates, as well as copy and design process series, thereby to maximize customer competitiveness.

PCB Assembly JarnisTech Prototype BOM List of Benefits of Service

● Coverage: For more than 98% of current products in the market, we are able to offer BOM production services for inventory. The BOM list we provide is extensive, including Design BOM – DBM, Plan BOM – PBOM, Engineering BOM-EBOM, Manufacturing BOM-MBOM, Sales BOM- SBOM, Cost BOM – CBOM, Maintenance BOM – WBOM, purchasing BOM – CBOM, production BOM – MBOM, Account BOM – CBOM.

● Efficient: Produce all kinds of BOM lists as quickly as possible, do not delay your any production plan to ensure your interests are protected;

● Exactness: BOM list is the creation and management of the primary material base. We ensure that your BOM list is 100% correct.


PCB Stencils

The primary function of the SMT stencil is for the purpose of transferring solder paste onto the bare printed circuit board. The metal foil made of stainless steel has been cut using lasers, making an opening for each surface mount device that is on the board.

As soon as the stencil is aligned on top of the board, solder paste is applied over the openings (making a single pass using a metal squeegee blade). And separating the stainless steel foil from the board, solder paste will remain, ready to be placed of the SMD. This procedure, as opposed to hand soldering methods, guarantees consistency and reduces time.

To create a stencil, we’ll need the layers of paste for the array to be in Gerber format. Before we begin your order, we will send you a check plot so you can confirm everything is correct.

SMT Stencils Types

We provide the following stencils:

SMT Stencils Framed

SMT Stencils framed

Framed SMT stencils, also referred to as glue-in stencils, have an unbreakable stencil frame. The mesh border ensures that the stencil foil is in place to ensure maximum precision. The benefits of stencils including:

● Double-bonding for high-wear applications: Strong engineering resists intense use.

● Superior print performance: Smooth and taut aperture design ensures precise prints.

●Non-fading of fiducial (marking) results: Screen printing process makes long-lasting fiducial layouts.

● Ability to stand up to many types of use: Permanent mounting gives an extremely high level of integrity.

●Product is available for immediate use with an SMT printer: The preassembled product can be work in an SMT printer immediately.

Due to its durable engineering, a frame SMT stencil is ideal for high-volume printing applications. Our recommendation is this product if you need it to be used for long-term production runs. Think about using a framed stencil when you intend to construct a large number of PCBs over a long period of time.

SMT Stencils Unframed

Unframed SMT stencils are made of stainless steel foil without a permanent frame. Their frames can be reused and they can be detached at any time. The advantages of stencils that are frameless include the following:

● Cost-effective pricing:  Frameless stencils results in significant cost savings in comparison to a frame-mounted design.

● Storage space reduced: Compact size saves on storage space.

● Impact on the environment: Use of fewer materials is conducive to eco-friendly production methods.

● Superior Print Performance: High-quality engineering ensure the highest performance across the entire stencil’s life.

● Compatible with hand-printing and screen printing: Versatile format allows printing on machines or squeegees.

Since frameless stencils last an extended period of time, they are suitable for short-term needs. They are recommended for short production runs or prototyping circuit boards.

SMT Stencils Unframed

The SMT Assembly Capabilities

Please send your PCB File as well as the BOM list to [email protected] to request a quotation. Partially or fully PCB assembly is accepted.

SMT capacity: 4 Million Points Per Day

1Single and double sided SMT/PTHYes
2Large parts on both sides, BGA on both sidesYes
3Smallest Chips size0201
4Min BGA and Micro BGA pitch and ball counts0.008 in. (0.2mm) pitch, ball count greater than 1000
5Min Leaded parts pitch0.008 in. (0.2 mm)
6Max Parts size assembly by machine2.2 in. x 2.2 in. x 0.6 in.
7Assembly surface mount connectorsYes
8Odd form parts:
Resistor and capacitor networks
Electrolytic capacitors
Variable resistors and capacitors (pots)
9Wave solderingYes
10Max PCB size14.5 in. x 19.5 in.
11Min PCB Thickness0.02
12Fiducial MarksPreferred but not required
2.Electrolytic gold
3.Electroless gold
4.Electroless silver
5.Immersion gold
6.Immersion tin
14PCB ShapeAny
15Panelized PCB1.Tab routed
2.Breakaway tabs
4.Routed+ V scored
16Inspection1.X-ray analysis
2.Microscope to 20X
17Rework1.BGA removal and replacement station
2.SMT IR rework station
3.Thru-hole rework station
18Min IC Pitch0.2mm
19solder paster printer0.2mm
20POP Manufacturing capabilityPOP *3F

Get Started With an SMT Stencil From JarnisTech

It’s essential that the stencil is perfect to avoid problems that can slow your assembly line in its tracks. JarnisTech guarantees perfection through the use of modern stencil technologies and highly-trained technicians.

At JarnisTech, We provide top-of-the-line, 100% laser-cut SMT Stencils at reasonable prices. Stencils can be delivered the next day from our factory shipping to clients.

Contact JarnisTech immediately to inquire about future stencil requirements. The customer Concierge team is waiting to discuss your PCB and stencil requirements. Contact us at 0086-0755-23034656 and visit us here to reach us via email.

In addition, for PCB assembly Orders, JarnisTech can also provide the SMD stencil free of charge.

What Are Gerber Files

A Gerber File is a 2D diagram that shows each PCB board, where various lines and forms represent tracks, pads and vias. It is the way to mechanically instruct the printing equipment to create the PCB board you want using the data provided.

This method of making PCB board is the best popular choice by designers and manufacturers since it’s more precise and is not prone to error.

All of the information regarding the PCB board, including the copper quantity as well as track length and width and hole spacing, are saved in the Gerber File. This type of data collection is essential to the design of the PCB board in order to serve the intended function. The final version of the file appears like a digital PCB with all components connected.

What Are Gerber Extensions for Files

PCB design software is used by manufacturers to generate Gerber files for the upcoming electronic However. The procedure is dependent on the CAD software employed. These machines create Gerber files in accordance with the standard RS-274X Gerber standard that replaces old and ineffective formats such as the RS-274D Gerber standard.

It’s important to remember Gerber data doesn’t need a unique identification name for text files to do. However, it is often associated with extensions like .gb or .gbr, as well as commonly used as standard Gerber extension names.

As stated previously, the default extension of files that are used for Gerber documents is.GBR or.GB However, there are other extensions utilized based on the PCB design software used by the manufacturer.

Gerber File Extensions vs. Gerber File Formats

To summarize, what are the main Gerber file formats and what are they encoded in? The two formats for Gerber files include the format RS-274X (released in the year 1998) and version X2 (released at the end of 2014). They replace the older RS-274-D format, which has been discontinued by its creator UCAMCO. Both types are ASCII human-readable files that can be formatted with any extension and can be read in the same way as other ASCII files.

RS-274-X Format

An image in 2D is a particular layer of a PCB stack. The format contains aperture specifications, XY coordinates for flash and draw commands, unit information as well as particular polygon fill instructions as well as other information required to fabricate PCBs.

X2 Format

Upgrades on RS-274-X format to incorporate information about layer locations, pads, vias, the requirements for controlled impedance as well as other attributes. In the year 2014, UCAMCO declared the earlier standard RS-274D “technically obsolete” and opted for RS-274-X and X2 since aperture definitions in RS-274D are not uniform.

What Are the Gerber File Extensions, and Which Gerber Format Should You Choose

In reality, when I have to submit a sketch to be made into a product and the designer specifically requests Gerbers, I make Gerber extensions for files with both versions, then zip them into different folders, then forward all of the designs to the manufacturer. The choice to choose between the two formats will eliminate some waiting and also some back-and-forth emails. I also include the following: a netlist, NC drill file BOM, IPC-2158 files, ODB++ file and an assortment of fab and assembly drawings, pick-and-place information and PDFs with schematics and a STEP model of the board. If you provide all of it and organize it into different folders, the manufacturer will be able to select the exact specifications they require and they will be able to put the board in production fast.

If you want to share your Gerber files, as well as other fabrication information, with your supplier or designers, the simplest option is to use your Altium 365 platform. This project release feature allows every fabrication file you’ve made can be shared with your manufacturing company. The manufacturer will then be able to access the shared files directly from Altium Designer or via their web browser because Altium 365 is the secure platform.

Whichever Gerber extensions you prefer or what your fabrication company requires, you can quickly create a set of standard fabrication files with the PCB design and manufacturing tools of Altium Designer®. This output job function makes it easier to create manufacturing files and ensures that your documents are free of errors.

If you’ve completed your design and want to make it available to your manufacturer, You can collaborate and share your projects easily with Altium 365TM. There is so much Altium Designer on Altium 365 can do that we have barely scratched the surface.

How To Utilize Altium Open File Using PCB Extension

● Install Altium Designer software.
● Check for the latest version of Altium Designer and update if necessary.
● Assign Altium Designer to PCB files.
● Verify your PCB isn’t damaged.
● Check your PCB file for malware or viruses.
● Verify you are sure that the PCB structure of the file is not damaged.
● Check to see if the account you’re logged into has administrative rights.
● Be sure your system is able in order to operate Altium Designer.
● You should ensure that you have installed the latest drivers and patches for your operating system.


JarnisTech Offer PCB and PCB Assembly One-stop Services

At JarnisTech, We are focused on quality and provide the full spectrum of PCB services, such as fabrication, procurement and assembly. It is easy to have your PCB project done by offering a one-stop solution as well as a wide range of tools. Explore our online resources for free, or get in touch with our experienced support team to get help at any point in the project.

If you have everything in place to submit a PCB assembly quote, Click the contact us to submit your printed circuit’s specifications as well as the PCB file and BOM.

Call us to get a free quote now