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Netlist Extraction Tool Freezing FAB3000

In worse-case scenarios the Netlist Extraction should only take 1-2 minutes maximum (typically 10-20 secs), so there should definitely be a logical solution. 

FAB3k most likely is working on a very large net (the progress bar updates after each net is successfully extracted) - so it may appear frozen.  This may happen with plane layers (or nets) that use thousands of hatched lines to fill an area.  I would recommend the following:
  1. Continue letting FAB Netlist Extraction run to completion - if there is an actual error FAB3000 will break/stop the Netlist extraction process automatically, and then return error messages.   
  2. Save the FAB3000 workspace file *.wrk, and submit a support ticket.  We can quickly determine where any bottle-neck is occurring, and how to improve performance.  All customer data is treated confidentially and deleted immediately once the support incident is resolved. 

Suggestion #1: PCB Border Layer  Make sure there is a Border Layer available.  Try using command menu:  Fabrication | Detect PCB Border (Automatic)...   this will ensure that you have a proper PCB border defined.  If a border is defined, netlist extraction will only worry about objects inside the border area.  Some metal layers include title blocks, labels, and other text descriptions that can interfere when attempting to generate a netlist from CAM data (for comparison).

Suggestion #2: Verify Layer Types (Gerber 274-X import only) If you are importing Gerber 274X files, make sure layer types are properly defined (only if importing 274X Gerbers only).  Netlist Extraction only cares about these layer types:  TOP, Bottom, Internal, Positive/Negative Plane, Drill Thruhole, Drill Blind/Buried.  For example, if a Fabrication drawing (with drill symbols) is defined as a Layer Type Drill Thruhole, it may cause issues.

Note: ODB++, IPC-2581, and Gerber X2/X3 already define layer types.


Suggestion #3: Verify Blind/Buried Drills Setup  (Gerber 274-X import only)   If you design has Blind or Buried Drills, please make sure that they're setup correctly,

Note: ODB++, IPC-2581, and Gerber X2/X3 already setup and define Blind/Buried Layers. 

If you're unable to send FAB3000 workspace file (*.wrk), and the suggestions above didn't help please describe the PCB design that you wish to perform Netlist Extraction: 

  • What CAM format type are you importing (Gerber, ODB++, 2581, other)?
  • Number of signal layers
  • Number of Drill files?  Are any Blind/buried Drills?
  • Board Dimensions:  Width x Height   (for example: 120mm x 165mm).
  • Are there plane layers?  If negative make sure Neg Plane layer type is assigned.  Are metal areas filled with Lines, or complex polygons with cut-lines to include holes.  If yes, you may clean up those layers by selecting command menu:  Tools | Convert To | Polygons...

Thanks again.


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