Electronic – Are Gerber files of inner layers interchangeable


Regarding the Gerber files of a 4 layer PCB with 2 inner layers:

  • Top layer: Analog signals
  • Inner layer 1: Digital signals (SPI and I2C)
  • Inner layer 2: Power planes (+3.3V and +12V)
  • Bottom layer: GND plane

For better isolation between analogue and digital signals and to prevent digital noise from coupling back into analog signals, I would like to swap the two inner layers, so that there is a power layer between analogue and digital.

Unfortunately, my EDA software (KiCAD) does not permit to reorder the stack.

This is why I'm wondering if it would be possible to simply rename the two Gerber files before sending them to the producer, so that the layers get swaped?

My guess is that the layers are only connected through vias and PTH's for THT components. Am I missing something here, that might break the PCB, if I manually rename the files ?

Best Answer

The Gerber files do not specify the order of layers. As long as you don't use blind or buried vias, the layers can be stacked in any order.

The file names for the individual Gerber files may vary between different CAD systems, and may or may not imply the desired stack-up order.

I always included a "readme" file with my PCB order specifying the desired stack-up order.