What is the difference between IDF and NEXTRA®?

Answer: IDF is a file format to exchange data between ECAD and MCAD systems. NEXTRA® however, is an application which integrates the functionality of both an ECAD and an MCAD system in one system. IDF (IDF 2.0 and IDF 3.0) has been designed to exchange the board outline, components, drill holes and various design areas between the communicating ECAD and MCAD systems. Information of the pcb design, which is electrically relevant like tracks, pads, vias, nets and the board stack-up are not taken into account within IDF. But even if in a data exchange specification this information would have been considered, as it has been done in STEP AP210 or IDF 4.0, this information could not fully be processed neither by a 3D MCAD system nor by a 2D ECAD system. This is because they by design can only process either the three-dimensional geometrical or the two-dimensional and electrical part of the information. Only NEXTRA® is able to create and edit the full electrical and three-dimensional model of a PCB within a 3D environment.


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