Gerber files have traditionally been used to communicate PCB designs with the manufacture. But exporting the Gerber file according to the needs of the fabrication house can be challenging. What naming convention do I need to follow? Which units should I use? Which Gerber version?
And the requirements may change depending on the board house.
Further, imagine a Gerber file as a simple drawing of your board layout, it does not convey any additional information like the nets, and thus no electrical testing is possible.
It gets even worse when you want to order an assembled board. Now you have to communicate the Gerber files, BOM. Pick and Place file and Netlist. All this extra information split up between files can get very messy, as more possible sources of error are introduced.
The solution to this are monolithic file formats, like ODB++ or native board files. This allows the manufacturer to export the data as needed, and the designer can skip the manual export, saving time. The possibility of error has also been reduced by limiting the files the designer and board house have to work with.
We at AISLER believe that monolithic file formats are the future of the electronics industry and have long been supporting the import of native file formats for KiCad, Eagle, Target3001! etc. and with our recently added ODB++ import, dozens of design applications now benefit from our services like: Smart Test, Amazing Assembly, Smart Guide and more, simply by uploading one singular file.