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KiCAD advanced layout

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  • KiCAD advanced layout

    Hello Robert,
    I'm a KiCAD user, I would love to design some SoM with bare minimum components like ARM processor external DDR, power tree and a bunch of board to board connector in order to break out as many signals as possible from CPU to the B2B connectors, or develop some smaller board with FPGA and DDR that should run some softcore. I know that KiCAD actually isn't the best CAD to do this sort of things compared to Altium, but for many people, it's a feasible option, for instance, olimex made a pretty complex board with it (olinuxino A64). I'm just wondering you could suggest me some of your course in order to learn some the basic stuff for high complexity design ...proper stackup organization, DDR signal routing strategies, it's really necessary to use some external tool like sigrity ? Many people that work with KiCAD and DDRs seems worried only to match the traces length. Actually, I know well KiCAD , so I'm not gonna ask you to teach me KiCAD, I'm just wondering if what is inside your courses could put myself in a proper path, what I'm afraid of is that a certain point of I'm gonna stuck into something "magic" Altium function that's not replicable in KiCAD.

    Best Regards

  • #2
    Have a look at Advanced PCB Layout course - this is the most CAD independent course and it could be what you are looking for:

    You can do memory layout even with simple CAD, it just takes more time. Also, it is not necessary to simulate - I only simulate if I have to break too many rules (e.g. I only simulate if I have to route signals too close to each other) .. and of course you have to simulate if you are developing a new technology or designing something for very very very first time e.g. when you are designing reference board. If you already have access to a working reference board, you can have a look how they did it and follow their design.

    PS: When you mentioned Sigrity, once I have done a video about DDR3 simulation .. maybe it could be interesting for you (but you maybe already saw the video):