Question: What is a STEP file?
A STEP [STandard Exchange of Product model data] file is a CAD file format defined by ISO 10303-21 to represent 3D models of components and assemblies. Since STEP files conform to the ISO standard, they are not vendor or software specific and have been adopted by the majority of ECAD and MCAD [Electronic and Mechanical Computer Aided Design] tools and systems.
STEP files are helpful to understand the physical dimensions of a particular product in a 3D domain. STEP files are also helpful to understand the area required by the part on the PCB during component placement in the mechanical assembly.
The following figure shows a sample for the preliminary STEP files for BGM13P22GA (Built-In Antenna) and BGM13P22GE (External Antenna) variants:
Question: How to obtain it?
As of Q3 2020, STEP files can now be directly downloaded from the Technical Resource Library available on our website or through the following link: https://www.silabs.com/support/resources.ct-schematic-and-layout-files?query=step
If there is any STEP file for a typical wireless module that is not available on the website, then respective Preliminary STEP files can be obtained from Silicon Labs by contacting the Technical Support team.
There are different STEP files for different part variations. For example, the BGM13PGA (built-in antenna) STEP file is different from the BGM13PGE (external antenna) STEP file. The example highlights the difference between a Bluetooth module with a U.FL connector versus a module with a chip antenna. When requesting STEP files, please include the correct part number so that the correct file can be provided. Once received, please refer to your CAD's website or help for instructions on how to import STEP files.
To obtain a STEP file for a standard package such as QFN32, QFN48, etc, please contact our Technical Support team where you will receive a .bxl [Binary eXchange Language] file, which is a proprietary file format for vendor-neutral CAD data created by UltraLibrarian tool available on our website. Once you receive the .bxl file, please follow the instructions on the CAD/CAE webpage to generate appropriate files for your project.