Standard Gerber declared obsolete
Open Letter to the Gerber User Community
As the developer and custodian of the Gerber format, Ucamco hereby wishes to communicate the following important information about Standard Gerber.
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 in an informal document, the interpretation of which is unavoidably subjective. 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.
Extended Gerber files ARE machine readable, they do not require painting, and they do support attributes. Virtually all software read Extended Gerber and many new implementations no longer support Standard Gerber. There is not a single good reason left to use Standard Gerber. Using of Standard rather than Extended Gerber is a self-inflicted competitive disadvantage.
Extended Gerber fully supersedes Standard Gerber. Extended Gerber is the current Gerber format. Standard Gerber files therefore do not comply with the Gerber specification.
Ucamco's position regarding the Gerber format is therefore as follows: Any party that chooses Standard rather than fully standardized Extended Gerber is responsible for any issues that might arise as a result of its use.