Originally developed by Valor, ODB++ is an electronic database for printed circuit board manufacturing. Created in 1995, it was designed as a way to better organize the transfer of board data from the designer to the manufacturer.
What is ODB++?
ODB++ is a data file structure stored in a hierarchy of files and folders. Often when ODB++ files are transferred, designers will use common operating system commands that preserve the hierarchy structure by lumping all of the data into one compressed file.
The hierarchy structure in ODB++ allows designers and manufacturers to transfer more than just the standard layer artwork and drill data featured in the competing Gerber format. ODB++’s unique file structure allows for large amounts of additional data to be included in a single file, including the material stack-up, bill of materials, and component placement, as well as dimension and fabrication data. With the exception of Eagle, ODB++ can be accessed through most PCB design programs (Expedition, PADS, Allegro), making it a nearly universal format throughout PCB manufacturing.
Who Uses ODB++?
Because of its convenience and structure, ODB++ has become the industry standard format for PCB manufacturing. Today, around 80 percent of PCBs are fabricated using ODB++. Amongst the top-ten largest EMS companies, virtually all are ODB++ compatible.
How does a PCB Manufacturer Handle ODB++ Data?
ODB++ files make it easy to generate all of the necessary programs and instructions for PCB machinery. ODB++ allows for quick and easy product manufacturing, without the hassle of having to reverse-engineer data to the machine software. ODB++ makes it possible for manufacturing to create your product at the shortest possible turnaround time. Its comprehensive file structure guarantees less chance for machine or human error in the manufacturing process, ensuring top quality and reliability in your PCBA.