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I want to see if the netlist embedded in ODB++ checks against the ODB++ artwork – open nets, plane shorts and opens etc,

I want to see if the netlist embedded in ODB++ checks against the ODB++ artwork – open nets, plane shorts and opens etc,
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[QUOTE]I would like to net check ODB++ but the netlist check feature appears to rely on a IPC netlist file – I want to see if the netlist embedded in ODB++ checks against the ODB++ artwork – open nets, plane shorts and opens etc, like Valor (if you are familiar with that product).[/QUOTE]


Thanks for your excellent question. 

Typically to run a netlist check against ODB++ (or Gerbers), you should have a netlist which comes directly from your CAD (IPC-356 format is preferred).  However since ODB++ does contain all netlist information already, you can perform the following two steps to extract an IPC-356 Netlist from your ODB++:

1.  Import ODB++ into FAB 3000.  (menu: File | Import | ODB++...).

2.  Since the ODB++ already contains the true netlist, simply export IPC-356 Netlist from FAB 3000.  (menu: File | Export| Netlist...)

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Now, we're going to use FAB 3000 to reconstruct (i.e. Extract) the netlist only using the artwork -- this is your TRUE Netlist (because it's the artwork that manufacturing is going to use to make your PCB).

3.  Run Netlist Extraction (menu:  Tools | Nets | Netlist Extraction...)

Note:  You will be prompted to Overwrite Existing Nets?  Say YES.  This allows FAB 3000 to remove all the ODB++ nets and start fresh by constructing a true netlist based on the connected geometries).

4. Select default options, and chose Next to Start the extraction.  Depending on the size of your design the extraction can take from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.

Note: If your ODB++ contains large surfaces (i.e polygons with holes) -- typically used on plane layers -- the Netlist extract process may be slow.

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Finally lets compare the ODB++ Netlist against the extracted Netlist from FAB 3000.  If there are any "open nets, plane shorts and opens etc.", they will be detected and pinpointed here.

5. Import ODB++ Netlist  (menu:  Import | Netlist (IPC-356)).  Select the ODB++ netlist you just generated.

6. Run Netlist Comparison  (menu: Tools | Nets | Netlist Compare)..


If there are any "open nets, plane shorts and opens etc.", you will have a dialog box asking if you would like to browse all errors.


Here's a quick tutorial movie I created showing how to perform those steps (described above):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fctYfaEsSps
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