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Any software to convert pcboard layout to schematic

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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Hi

Do anyone know software can convert pcboard layout to schematic? Thanks
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 楼主| 发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
Not likely.  You can reverse annotate.  you can guess part numbers or PIN numbers or polarity from Gerber files, but I've never seen a Gerber file reduced to a netlist to wired schematic. There are no symbols for parts in Gerber files or even which holes or pads are connected in pairs other than possibly the silk screen layer, which is sufficient for most reverse engineering the hard way.         
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
Hi SunnySkyguy

Thanks for your comment. My friend has to do reverse engineer job, that is doing pcboard layout job from a board that customer give to him. The pcboard is only information for him to do the job. He need to trace the signal connection , pin and part on the board. They pay him at high cost for this      
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
The term you need is reverse engineering. There are lots of hits on Google.   Here is an interesting approach from Stanford University: https://stacks.stanford.edu/file/dru...ering_PCBs.pdf

On the few occasions I have done it, I used images of the board, including a mirror of one side, to locate components on the traces.  I then used colored markers to highlight major nets -- a manual version of what that link shows.  If component identifications have been removed, it will be harder to do.

John      
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
     Customer should give your friend an populated board if he wants schematic to be extracted from PCB, as well as an unpopulated, blank, board, or your friend has to remove all components before retracing the PCB.

Of course every reverse engineering costs a lot. One price is for recreating only the PCB (done it many times in my career) and another is for extracting schematic.

BTW what amount is high cost?         
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
Sure sounds like a cloning operation , or theft of someone elses design. Reverse engineering is always cheaper than Forward engineering but with more uncertainty.         
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
Hi SunnySkyguy,

Have no doubt.  I am staunchly against theft of intellectual property.  The Stanford researchers give some legitimate reasons for needing to reverse engineer; although, there is no way to verify their intent.

The methods we have mentioned are really applicable to two-sided boards.  I suspect anything of real IP value will be multi-layered and contain an MCU.  I am not particularly concerned about someone reverse-engineering such a product for real gain.  Besides, when one has property, it is the responsibility of the property owner to protect it.  Albeit, the cost of proving a violation can be great, but so can the penalties for its theft -- at least in the Western world.

John      
  
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发表于 2014-9-16 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
That's good to know. Some  countries have more shops without scruples, than others. The cost of security is such that the cost of defending ones IP must be less than the uncertain revenue gains.

I've always used my forensic Reverse Engineering skills to help others for personal use only.  Like the Bass player who had a dead music synth. box for his guitar in the 70's where every plastic IC had the P/N sanded off on a small board with 30 IC's.  It took me all evening to fix it and it turned out to be a design flaw in a level shifter for bipolar powered CMOS switches with unipolar logic source biased poorly.

When I was Test Eng Mgr, I had heard of smart learning Testers using a guided probe, could map out a transfer function, truth table and simple symbol map of a device under test.... But never saw it.         
  
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发表于 2014-9-17 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
All reverse engineered boards that I've done were designs at least 25 years old from companies that went belly up :) and just for replacement of damaged ones. The "production run" of those boards were no more than 2 (two) pieces per job.

Nowadays is very difficult to protect own's IP. In China you can get reversed anything, from single layer to 12 layer easily. Even scraped IC's can be figured out either by connections on board or by physically opening.         
  
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发表于 2014-10-6 00:00:00 | 显示全部楼层
Hi , i also have the same need.

There is the Sprint-Layout 6.0 which can covert a photo to PCB. But not create netlist!

Does anyone know the ScanFAB?



i also found other software like CirCad, DeltaSoft CBR 6.0 , Easy-PC.

Does anyone knows this software?
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