IPC-2581 Update

It’s been a while since I updated readers on the IPC-2581 Consortium. Here’s a few tidbits:

  • The group of supporters continues to grow, and a couple large IT and test equipment OEMs are now considering joining. At least one announcement could be coming shortly.
  • The verification team, led by Ed Acheson at Cadence, is making progress. They are looking at some designs to use for test runs. At least 10 designs are expected to be validated using the members’ CAD and CAM tools.
  • Wise Solutions expects to have an IPC-2581 viewer by January. It will likely be made available through multiple websites.
  • The Consortium will have a booth at the IPC Apex show in late February and PCB West in September. Members will also have a poster at Apex and will make a presentation at PCB West.

Here’s a question: Should Mentor or Frontline (which Mentor owns a 50% stake in) join the IPC-2581 Consortium? Feel free to reply here or directly to me if you wish.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

2 thoughts on “IPC-2581 Update

  1. Hi Mike

    As much I as think Mentor Graphics should join the IPC-2581 consortium for better consolidation of a truly neutral and standard data exchange format, the reality is that Mentor has much vested interest in ODB++ format (now that Mentor owns Valor) to join the consortium.

    I don’t think it’s exaggerate to say that it is the desire of every business organzation to hold the biggest share of the market in order to maximize profitability and this is true even for Mentor, Cadence or Zuken (the top three vendor company for PCB design software market in the world at the moment).

    IMHO, ever since I observed that Mentor bought over Valor in 2010, Cadence and Zuken has band together to support IPC-2581 (with other CAD/CAM vendors) despite the format has been around since 2004. This had similarity of the dynamic but unstable configuration of 3-way fights where when one was seen to gain a significant advantage over the other two, rest assured the other two would find it convenient to come together to work something that could effectively nulify or pacify the advantage the protagonist had over the other two, at least until the previous status quo could be revert back to. I would say it is a similar analogy where Mentor, Cadence and Zuken involved in a 3-way battle for the market domination of PCB design software in the world. And when Mentor bought over Valor in 2010, Cadence and Zuken felt that Mentor would be gaining an advantage in CAM and PCB back-end operations due to the widely-used ODB++ format in electronics PCB manufacturing and consequently, the IPC-2581 support has been gaining momentum ever since.

    Other readers may or may not agree with my observation but I am most interested to know your thoughts as well as other opinion on this matter.

    Thanks, KC

  2. Betamax vs VHS…
    At least the question is being distilled down to something!
    After that battle is resolved, maybe there will be enough “traction” in the market to move the industry as a whole beyond simple gerber files.

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