The Gerber format is a file format for PCB manufacturing. It is the format with which plotters create the film for the exposure of a single layer of a multilayer PCB and CAM systems produce the PCBs.
Each individual PCB layer has its own Gerber file. In addition, there are Gerber files for each individual PCB layer for solder masks, for the assembly side and the solder side, and also for the text imprint for the electronic components.
Gerber files are in ASCII and allow data exchange between the design data from Computer Aided Design( CAD) and the manufacturing data with Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). The classic Gerber file had the designation RS-274-D. Currently, the extended Gerber file RS-274-X (extended) is used.
Gerber files contain the X and Y coordinates for the traces, pads, solder pads, SMD stencils and solder mask. For manufacturing purposes, they do not contain all the required data. For example, the position and diameter of the drill holes and some other data are also required for PCB production. It is different with CAD data, which includes much more information. The most comprehensive exchange format for information between Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is ODB++, which includes all data for PCB manufacturing.