Why you should supply us with Gerber X2 files.

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What are Gerber X2 Files?

Gerber X2 is an advanced file format used for conveying PCB design data to manufacturers. It is an extension of the original Gerber format, which has been widely used in the industry for decades. Gerber X2 files contain all the necessary information for PCB fabrication, including copper layers, solder mask, silkscreen, and drill data.

Advantages of Gerber X2 over Traditional Gerber Format

Feature Traditional Gerber Gerber X2
Embedded Aperture Definitions No Yes
Attribute Data No Yes
Standardized Netlist Data No Yes
Improved Readability No Yes

Benefits of Using Gerber X2 Files

1. Enhanced Design Clarity

One of the primary advantages of using Gerber X2 files is the improved clarity they bring to PCB designs. With embedded aperture definitions and attribute data, Gerber X2 files provide a more comprehensive and unambiguous representation of the PCB layout. This clarity reduces the likelihood of misinterpretation and errors during the manufacturing process.

Example: Embedded Aperture Definitions

In traditional Gerber files, aperture definitions are typically stored in a separate file, which can lead to confusion and mistakes. Gerber X2 files eliminate this issue by embedding aperture definitions directly within the file, ensuring that the correct apertures are used throughout the design.

2. Streamlined Communication

Gerber X2 files facilitate seamless communication between PCB designers and manufacturers. By providing a standardized format for conveying design data, Gerber X2 minimizes the need for back-and-forth clarifications and reduces the risk of misunderstandings. This streamlined communication saves time and resources for both parties involved.

3. Improved Manufacturing Efficiency

With the comprehensive information contained in Gerber X2 files, manufacturers can optimize their processes and improve overall efficiency. The standardized netlist data in Gerber X2 files allows for automated design rule checks (DRC) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) setup, reducing the time and effort required for manual preparation.

Example: Automated Design Rule Checks

Design Rule Manual Check Automated Check with Gerber X2
Minimum Trace Width 2 hours 5 minutes
Minimum Clearance 3 hours 10 minutes
Drill Size Verification 1 hour 2 minutes

4. Reduced Risk of Errors

Gerber X2 files help minimize the risk of errors throughout the PCB Fabrication process. The enhanced clarity and standardized format of Gerber X2 files make it easier for manufacturers to identify and resolve potential issues early in the production cycle. This proactive approach saves time, reduces costs, and improves the overall quality of the final product.

5. Faster Turnaround Times

By streamlining communication and improving manufacturing efficiency, Gerber X2 files contribute to faster turnaround times for PCB projects. Manufacturers can process Gerber X2 files more quickly and accurately, reducing the time required for design revisions and production setup. This accelerated timeline allows for shorter lead times and faster delivery of finished PCBs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Q: Can all PCB Manufacturers accept Gerber X2 files?
    A: While not all manufacturers have adopted Gerber X2, it is becoming increasingly common in the industry. It is best to check with your preferred manufacturer to confirm their capabilities and requirements.

  2. Q: Is it difficult to generate Gerber X2 files from PCB design software?
    A: Most modern PCB design software packages support the generation of Gerber X2 files. The process is typically straightforward and can be accomplished with just a few clicks.

  3. Q: Are there any additional costs associated with using Gerber X2 files?
    A: Generally, there are no additional costs for using Gerber X2 files. In fact, using Gerber X2 can often lead to cost savings by reducing the need for design revisions and minimizing the risk of manufacturing errors.

  4. Q: Can Gerber X2 files be used for both prototype and production runs?
    A: Yes, Gerber X2 files are suitable for both prototype and production runs. The benefits of using Gerber X2 apply regardless of the quantity of PCBs being manufactured.

  5. Q: Are there any limitations to using Gerber X2 files?
    A: There are no significant limitations to using Gerber X2 files. However, it is essential to ensure that your PCB design software is capable of generating Gerber X2 files and that your chosen manufacturer can process them.


In conclusion, supplying Gerber X2 files to your PCB manufacturer offers numerous benefits that can greatly improve the quality, efficiency, and speed of your PCB projects. From enhanced design clarity and streamlined communication to reduced risk of errors and faster turnaround times, Gerber X2 files provide a comprehensive solution for conveying PCB design data.

By adopting Gerber X2 as your standard file format for PCB fabrication, you can establish a more reliable and productive relationship with your manufacturer, ultimately leading to better results and increased customer satisfaction.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gerber X2 files provide enhanced clarity and comprehensive design data for PCB fabrication.
  2. Using Gerber X2 files streamlines communication between designers and manufacturers, reducing the risk of errors and misunderstandings.
  3. Gerber X2 files enable automated design rule checks and improved manufacturing efficiency, leading to faster turnaround times.
  4. Adopting Gerber X2 as your standard file format can lead to cost savings, improved quality, and increased customer satisfaction.

As the PCB industry continues to evolve, embracing advanced technologies like Gerber X2 becomes increasingly important for staying competitive and delivering high-quality products. By supplying Gerber X2 files to your manufacturer, you can take a significant step towards optimizing your PCB fabrication process and ensuring the success of your projects.