Vsure DFM : A series of articles on best practice - Part 1

VSure DFM : A series of articles on best practice

This article is part 1 of a series that is intended as an introduction to the process flow of performing DFM Analysis using the Mentor vSure product. In this series we will address questions like:

  • What is the default vSure DFM flow.
  • What EDA formats can be imported.
  • What CAM formats can be imported.
  • What is ODB++
  • How is native EDA/CAM data enriched with attributes for better processing.
  • What do we mean by DFM Analysis.
  • How do we use manufacturing guidelines and limitations for DFM.
  • DFM Analysis result handling.
  • Special functions like Drill Drawings, Solder Paste Creation and Panelisation.
  • Output formats.

But before we focus on each of the topics let me start to explain how we interpret DFM. The acronym DFM stands for Design for Manufacturing which is a design practice not only focuses on the design aspects of a product but also on the producibility therefor taking into account the guidelines and/or limitations of the manufacturing process. If these DFM guidelines are not followed, it will result in iterative design, it will have impact on quality, sometimes loss of manufacturing time and overall resulting in an increase in time to market.


The Mentor vSure product is addressing these aspects by providing an easy and standard way to check a PCB design against the manufacturing guidelines and/or limitations. These “rules” can be setup using the general IPC guidelines or can be production process or even assembly line specific. A rules based check performed by the vSure product will result in a risk assessment report.


Another acronym that needs to be explained upfront is ODB++ the internal storage format of the vSure product. ODB++ stands for Open Database with index and is a directory structure that was introduced into the market by Valor Inc. and adapted by the IPC as a standard. ( IPC-2581 ) Within the vSure product each imported dataset is stored as an ODB++ job which can subsequently be viewed, edited, analysed or exported again.


The default vSure DFM flow

Basically the default flow that can be used to process a design in the vSure product has 5 steps.


  • Import your source data coming from your EDA system in native format or in CAM format.
  • Perform some cleanup like Draw2Flash, attribute assignment and BOM based library merge.
  • Run the DFM analysis using your standard or specific rules.
  • Create a report of all the issues that the analysis has found.
  • And finally save the ODB++ and create an output for the manufacturer in your preferred format.