Import layer structures at the click of a button

08.03.2021

Higher efficiency, better quality, more security through standards: Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology provides digital layer structures – also called stackups – for circuit boards. This allows them to be imported “at the click of a button” into most common EDA software programs.

“We prepare standard layer structures so our customers can avoid errors and increase productivity”, explains Andreas Schilpp, Technical Marketing Manager of Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology. “Up to now, it’s been a lot of work to transfer these into the circuit board designer’s work tool. On top of this, there was the incidence of errors, such as incorrect interpretations or because of distraction at the workplace.”

Being up to date is keyNo wonder, the complicated manufacturing process of a circuit board involves a lot of individual steps. Flex-rigid circuits, for example: These require more than 100 steps as, alongside IPC standards and manufacturer-specific design rules, there is also a huge range of variation options that need to be taken into account when combining rigid and flexible materials. Thanks to the digital layer structures, these and similar data are now available straight away in the respectively latest version – and no longer need to be entered in the Layer Stack Manager. “Importing standard stackups makes it possible to avoid typical sources of errors in process steps like this”, Schilpp is pleased to report.

Different types of layer structures available
The first standard stackups for Altium and Cadence EDA tools can now be called up on the Würth Elektronik website and imported. In addition, they are available in IPC-2581 format for all EDA tools that are not directly supported in the specific format. Standard stackups can be loaded via an import interface. In addition to the layer structure, all material data is also provided. Layer structures for other technologies and EDA tools – such as Mentor and Eagle – are in planning or will be available soon.

Digitalisation in several steps
The stackups are a part of the digital standards, which Würth Elektronik will be gradually introducing in 2021. They are comprised of layer structures, material databases, design rules and documentation. The corresponding standards have previously only been available in paper/PDF format. Thanks to improved data quality of the PCB manufacturing data, the digital versions should minimise the need for further enquiries during engineering – and thus increase the efficiency of circuit board production. This will save valuable time and enable the finished circuit boards to be delivered to the customer sooner. The layer structures are already available for the following software and technologies at www.we-online.com/digital-stackups:

EDA Software / format Basic (Multilayer) Flex-rigid HDI SLIM.flex
Altium Designer
Cadence Coming soon Coming soon
IPC-2581 format Coming soon Coming soon
Table 1: Overview of the available digital standard stackups (Source: Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology)

Figure 1: In the future, PCB layer structures will be able to be created faster and without errors in the EDA tools – here a 3Ri-4F-3Ri flex-rigid layout in Altium Designer 20. (Source: Würth Elektronik Circuit Board Technology)

Figure 2: Key Visual Digital Standards (Source: Würth Elektronik CBT)

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