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Circuit-Tree Hardware Compiler Detailed Feature List

At Circuit Tree we have number of embedded board components and features which allow you to build a custom board quickly and reliably.  There is new list of items which our users have requested which we are working on.

Here are the list of peripheral interfaces supported which the hardware compiler supports:

  1. DDR3/DDR3L memory library
    1. Supports 8 Bit/16 Bit memories for a bus size of 8 bit to 64 wide bit.
    2. Added VTT termination support
    3. Support for multiple memory manufacturers.
    4. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Memories selected based on datarate, cas latency, single/dual die option.
      2. Hardware compiler is Intelligent to route DQS and Data group connection to various memory type based on the 8 Bit/16bit memories and the bus connection needed
      3. Route the ddr3 Bus Connections to any connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  2. Parallel Memory library:
    1. Asynchronous Nor [16 Bit] -Various memory sizes
    2. Synchronous Nor [16 Bit] -Various memory sizes
    3. Nand Flash 8 bit -Various memory sizes
    4. Async Sram 16 Bit -Various memory sizes
    5. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Control memory selection based on the memory density and manufacturer
      2. Bus connections can be routed to a connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  3. Serial Memory Library:
    1. QSPI, SPI,I2c -Various memory sizes and manufacturers
    2. Additional features the hardware compiler:
      1. Select Based on memory density, manufacturer
      2. Select addresses needed for each i2c device
      3. Bus connections can be routed to a connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  4. Ethernet Library:
    1. Wide number of transceivers supported for:
      1. Sgmii,GMII, Rgmii,RMII and MII
      2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
        1. Auto selection of transceivers and option to change the transceiver to
          one of the transceivers from menu option. Auto routing for MDC/MDIO
          signals for all the transceivers.
        2. Ethernet transceivers connections are routed to the integrated magnetics.
        3. Option to change management bus address, features and functions of the
          selected transceivers.
        4. Bus connections can be routed to a connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  5. USB Library:
    1. ULPI Transceivers
    2. USB2.0 and USB3.0 differential from processor/micro-controllers
      1. Option to select USB Host, device, OTG mode.
      2. ESD protection diodes are added by default.
      3. Power fault protection circuitry
      4. Multiple peripheral support.
    3. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Select USB Host, device, OTG mode (Connectors, USB power
        switch, configurations and connections are done automatically by circuit-tree).
      2. Select multiple ULPI transceivers.
      3. Bus connections can be routed to a connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  6. Display library:
    1. Graphics LCD
    2. OLED LCD
    3. TFT LCD
    4. HDMI differential signals
    5. LVDS connection using display Bus
    6. HDMI output Using display bus
    7. DVI output using display bus
    8. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to select Component configuration
      2. Bus connections can be routed to a connector to provide capability to add plug in card.
  7. Wireless Library:
    1. WIFI modules
    2. Bluetooth module
    3. NFC module
    4. Radio 2.4Ghz module
    5. Zigbee module
    6. GPS module
    7. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Component configuration
  8. Sensor Library:
    1. Temperature
    2. Accelerometer
    3. Humidity
    4. Compass
    5. Pressure
    6. Gyroscope
    7. RTC
    8. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Component selection from various vendors
  9. UART library
    1. RS232  transceivers of various vendors
    2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to route the signals to DB9 or a 2×5 header
      2. Option to route any custom connector.
  10. Jtag Library:
    1. ARM Jtag 2×10 header
    2. ARM Jtag 2×5 header
    3. ARM SWI 2×5 header
    4. ARM SWI 2×10 header
    5. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to route the Jtag signals to any custom connector.
  11. PCIe library:
    1. Mini PCIe slot
    2. PCie x1, x4 and x8
    3. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to route the PCIe signals to any custom connector.
  12. SATA library:
    1. Sata connector without power from the board.
    2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to route the SATA signals to any custom connector.
  13. SD library:
    1. SDHC connector
    2. or choose Emmc Memory
    3. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to route the sd signals to any custom connector.
  14. Audio library:
    1. Audio transceivers from various vendors
    2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to select audio transcievers
      2. Option to select part features such as number of Microphones ,speaker etc
      3. Option to route the audio signals to any custom connector.
  15. CAN library:
    1. CAN transceivers
    2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to select CAN transceiver
      2. Option to select features for a transceiver
      3. Select DB9 or a different connector to have the CAN signals routed to be connected to another CAN device.
      4. Option to route the CAN signals to any custom connector.
  16. Camera Library:
    1. Library contains Camera PCB Module and sensor.
    2. Additional features select options from the hardware compiler:
      1. Option to select Camera part from different manufacturer
      2. Option to select features for a camera pcb module.
      3. Option to route the camera signals to any custom connector.
  17. GPIO/ADC/DAC Library:
    1. Get the number of GPIO’s, ADC’s DAC’s needed for an application. The hardware compiler would select pins from processor/micro-controller to be added to a header for connection.
  18. Button/LED Library
    1. various leds are added on the board as per function needs of the board.

There is a lot of other finer details which we support. If you have additional questions then visit faq section or feel free to write back with your questions at info@circuit-tree.com

To start testing these features today visit our hardware compiler site.

Circuit Tree has number of followers in hackaday and in ST Microelectronics community.

Checkout the hackaday page.

Who Needs Circuit-Tree?

Circuit Tree is a hardware compiler which aims to assist engineers and corporations to create quick prototypes in embedded space. This concepts has been on a wish list of many engineers and lately DARPA has joined this initiative with announcement of the program.

Circuit Tree has in its library set contains

  1. 1000 of processor/micro controllers [Link]
  2. Number of peripheral components typically used in embedded board design.
  3. Number of misc components for power, clock, reset, switches, leds, adc’s, dac’s.
select embedded processor and controllers

Select processors from the various options and search bar

Embedded Part selection

Select Embedded elements and parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Total circuit tree has close to 6500 components in its library list. This is a good set of components which can generate non human controlled hardware designs from a budding hardware compiler. Are you aware that circuit tree hardware compiler also auto generated embedded board design with schematics and placement for 900+ different controllers in different board form factor in 60hrs . This is far more that a human capability and makes circuit-tree hardware compiler useful for a quick churn of embedded designs. Check out our Github repository for depth of the various designs.

GitHub circuit-tree embedded design repository

 

 

 

 

Is circuit tree a hardware eda tool to design schematics with full fledged capability of a typical cadence allego, eagle tool set ? No it is not. Consider Circuit-tree to be a engineering assistant to help you with design generation and pcb generation. The hardware compiler is knowledgeable of your design unlike a typical eda tool which is dumb and does not know what a component footprint in xy direction is and where to place or route connections from it. The hardware compiler can present various deliverable in cadence allegro, eagle, altium or mentor tool right from the application console.

There are new features coming to circuit tree which would make circuit-tree useful for further majority of the engineers. New capability need to be thoroughly tested and takes time but we are committed to get the best hardware compiler in the market.

Automated Designs from Circuit Tree

Circuit tree with wordcloud

Wordcloud is a powerful way to analyse the data on the website. Here is one of the datacloud which shows circuit tree capability and strength. Circuit Tree has common peripherals and loads of controllers and processors to help create the hardware design on the cloud. We have tested our basic design through pcb and assembly of the drone board. (Link to Small Drone project). Do share your creative projects created with the help of circuit tree on info@circuit-tree.com

Circuit Tree capability

 

 

 

 

 

Small Drone Design Prototype

We have chartered a new goal to create development boards of the designs created by circuit tree to showcase Circuit Tree Design capability. To keep the task fairly simple the development board requirements are listed below:
1. Create a drone board which can fly while being controlled from mobile bluetooth. The frame of the board would be a PCB where the Motors would mount.
2. The drone board should be powered by a battery and should have battery charging capability.
3. The Main elements of the drone board would be a small micro-controller, bluetooth radio, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, jtag port for debug, 4 pwm’s, led and reset switch.
4. The battery of this board when in air should last for minimum 15 minutes.
5. As a first bringup goal the drone board should be able to fly till small altitude.

We start by estimating the weight of the drone board with battery to find if it can meet the goal no 4.  We analysed and decided to select the motors for the project listed below:
1. https://www.banggood.com/2-x-7mm-Hollow-Cup-Motor-For-Hubsan-H107L-Upgraded-Version-p-80923.html?p=OY2106728901201408U4
2. https://www.banggood.com/4X-Racerstar-615-6x15mm-59000RPM-Coreless-Motor-for-Eachine-E010-E010C-Blade-Inductrix-Tiny-Whoop-p-1115474.html?rmmds=detail-bottom-alsobought

Next we start the electronic design. We chose circuit tree design to first look at the list of controllers which can be used for the drone design. Based on the component avaibility results we narrowed down to stm32l052k6t6 from st micro electronics. Quickly the components were selected as shown below and a block diagram generated.

Board requirement catpure screen

Board requirement capture screen

Board block diagram of the components selected

Board block diagram of the components selected

We did wait for schematics to generate within 2.5 minutes and within that time did scan the Bill of material file generated from the tool. There are certain discrete components which circuit Tree could not select which is left to the designers to update.

Also in the schematic we have a dummy connector added for Timer pins. The connector is important as it helps in allocating the micro-controller pins for the Timer/PWM. The intent of using Timer is to allow mosfets to be added to these pins to eventually allow motors to be driven.

Next we click on the layout viewer to select a dxf file and check if the placement dxf outline is correct. Next we fire the background process to generate placement.

Board components prior to start of auto placement algorithm

Board components prior to start of auto placement algorithm

Within next 3 minutes the placement of the board is generated and it looks as shown below:

Finished Board component placement

Finished Board component placement

The algorithm shows that the components can be fit in the given board dxf file. It is time to define the board boundary restriction so that the algorithm can rerun and produce more symmetrical placement around 4 weeks.

We would keep updating the blog as we get the results.

Here is the Git hub link for design files for the drone design.


 

Update1: Sept 16th 2017

Muneeb started working on the eagle downloaded design to add motors pads and mosfets to the design.  He is one of smart engineers we have on circuit tree who took the design and first started to review the design and compare the output of circuit tree with the stm-cube tool output. Once we was happy with the output it was time to change the connector page to add the motors pads and mosfets as shown below. The only change he had to do in the downloaded eagle schematic file was to change the grid to default.

Here is the copy of the page he edited:

Updating dummy connector page with motors and mosfet.

Updating dummy connector page with motors pads and mosfet.

The next check for him was to check if the eagle ERC was displaying any errors. No errors were found but number of warnings were observed stating two similar named nets are connected to one another. After a check it was time to see if the the circuit tree board file can get newly added components(mosfets and motor pads) in the placement. He further customised the placement file to meet his requirement.

Board revised placement

Board revised placement

 


Update2: Oct 10th 2017

We have released the board file for fabrication and assembly. Eagerly waiting for the first circuit tree design to come to life.

drone pcb design with ground pour.

drone pcb design with ground pour.

Released schematic and Board file is available in our github repository .

Stay tuned to know how we progress ahead with this design. We cannot control our excitement.


 

Update no 3: Oct 20th 2017:

We just got the pcb fabricated from china. There is a minor issue with respect to the via tenting which the pcb vendor did not make despite being in the requirement. Components have been ordered and now the pcb assembly starts.

Top Side of the drone PCB

Top Side of the drone PCB

Bottom Side of the PCB

Bottom Side of the PCB

Looking for a healthy board bringup without any wires.


 

Update no 4: Oct 30th 2017:

Here are the set of assembled boards designed through circuit tree.   Board bringup’s are always interesting milestone for a hardware design engineer as we spark new life into a element.

Quick checks done so far:

  1. Component placement checked
  2. Power short check shows no issue so far.
  3. Weight of the board.
  4. Note there are no overlapping components.

So far so good. It is late in the evening will do the bringup tomorrow with a detailed test plan.

Assembled Drone Boards designed by circuit treeAssembled Drone Boards designed by circuit tree


Update no 5: Nov 2nd 2017

Picture of the board assembled with motors and power test. Board was first tested for open short test. The board was powered with usb cable and then the main board voltage was found to be 3.29v. Great work so far.

drone_with_motors

drone_with_motors

 


Update no 6: Nov 4th 2017

The moment we have been all waiting for is here. Here is a quick update on the board bringup:

  1. Powered the board through the usb cable connected to a laptop. All voltages are good.
  2. Connected the st micro to ST-LINK/V2 through a custom adapter cable as the connector on the board was incompatible with the pitch of the programmer.
  3. Detected the stm32l052 device on the programmer console.
  4. Programmed a code to drive the motors through the mosfet.
  5. Next connected the battery on the board after switching on the board.
  6. Result is as shown in the video. The right side of the drone had more lift compared to left side.

Really happy and satisfied with the result.

The next steps would be to connect the board through bluetooth to power on and off the board using laptop bluetooth control. Also we would interface with all the board sensors to get the real time data.

The good news is that the most of the hardware functionality is working as expected. Circuit tree application has designed a board which is reliable in short span of design time. In hardware design lots of items have to tick right and circuit tree has just shown the capability.

The next update would be in few weeks when we have created the software.

 


 

Update no 7: Dec 10th 2017

Here is another update to the drone testing. In the video below you will notice that Bluetooth and a application layer is running on the drone which allows turn on and off of the left side and right side motors. You will also notice that we had to connect a wire on the board to connect the stmicro with the bluetooth transceiver. This wire was added to allow the software to reset the transceiver as needed. This is the option which would integrate in the application.

This is a good learning we have had. In the next update we would share the application software used for the development which would be free to use.

Thank you for reading through the long post.


 

 

Latest New Addition -component Footprint and auto-placement of components

Our Goal is to push the application capability to design and develop a complete end hardware product. I am pleased to announce that with each design created with circuit tree the design would bundle layout footprints along with the schematics. The footprints are currently in eagle format and porting to other EDA cad format is ongoing.

Intelligent component placement stage

Pre Component Placement stage

In addition the application is able to provide intelligent placement of component based on the required board outline. Option is given for the User to select a dxf file from a menu option or can provide his/her dxf file. The component auto-placement algorithm looks at following parameters:
1. Board outline
2. Holes position
3. Placement restriction, top and bottom side
4. Components type and component footprints
5. Netlist relation of the component.
6. Plenty of other secret sauce.

The end results of auto-placement algorithm are interesting. Some of the interesting insights we see here
1. Most of the decoupling capacitors are placed close to the IC pins. [Check the present tool Limitation covered in the blog post]
2. The components such as crystal, clocks osscilator are placed close to the receiver.
3. Most of the Connectors are placed close to the edges with correct orientation for easy plug in of cables.
4. Unlike other EDA components placement power components are placed to allow planes or thick traces to connect the components from far off positions. Circuit Tree does not try to minimise the power distances. It would try to keep linear power regulators close the components which needs it and would keep switching regulator far off.
5. Ethernet transceivers and ethernet magnetics are placed close by as needed.
6. Irrespective of the shape of the board the component placement is correct for the all use cases tested.
7. Components were not placed in the holes or placement restricted areas.
8. Component placement is done on top and bottom layer and emphasis is to have sufficient separation so that components don’t overlap.

Circuit tree application results delight us as we are usually not prepared to see a machine able to achieve quite human like performance. Some of the auto-placement examples which we captured during our testing are shown below:

Intelligent component placement

DXF Board example 2 auto placement of components

Intelligent component placement

DXF Board example 4 auto placement of components

DXF Board example 3 auto placement of components

DXF Board example 3 auto placement of components

Ongoing further work in this area:
1.Currently DXF import is restricted to certain design formats. We would like to make it universal to allow all dxf files.
2. We would like to offer option to allow user to generate smallest size board placement. Here circuit Tree would suggest the board outline which can recommend smallest size board based on the component present.
3. Option for user to move components on the board as per his requirement and use the auto-placement algorithm to regenerate the board placement based. Other option would be to allow users to select placement on top/bottom or both sides, define placement boundaries etc.

The goal of this new feature is to offer component footprints and auto-placement of components such that auto router can be used to route the board. This will reduce the turnaround time of design and provide quick prototype testing with minimal effort.

Circuit Tree in a new avatar

Circuit Tree is expanding day by day and in order to meet the complexity of vast requirements of embedded design we have redesigned the application. The new application is super easy to use, 10x faster than the previous version and efficient enough to generate designs as needed.

Embedded Part selection

Select Embedded elements and parts

select embedded processor and controllers

Select processors from the various options and search bar

Embedded board power up

Select various power up cases

Select Advanced circuit design options.

Select Advanced circuit design options.

Not only is the user interface changed we now support loads of features to provide quick design export options. You can now export Altium, Orcad and Eagle designs through circuit tree through menu or request dispatch over the registered email.

Embedded hardware design Automation

Various design export options as well options to email files when then generate

We now also support auto placement module where based on the dxf file intelligent board component placement is generated by circuit tree. The time required to generate simple placement to complex placement varies between 20 seconds to 7 minutes which is solely dependent on the complexity of the design. Compare this time to the manual placement of the components and you will find it useful. Circuit Tree is most useful tool to you where iteratively at prototype stage various combinations need to be tested to find the best fit.

Intelligent component placement stage

Pre Component Placement stage

Interested to see more of some interesting placement results. Additional details of this new feature is covered in a separate post.

Automated intelligent component placement by circuit Tree

Automated intelligent component placement by circuit Tree

Automated intelligent component placement by circuit Tree

Example of Automated intelligent component placement by circuit Tree

Send us your feedback comments at info@circuit-tree.com

Follow us on Hackaday

We do have a presence on Hackaday. Ever since we have posted about circuit tree as a circuit board design software our list of followers have been increasing as engineers do feel the need for a application which generates dynamic output and provides quality output. We would shortly be posting the projects that we tend to design using circuit tree. To follow us on hackaday click on the link below and become a active follower of circuit tree.

Simplify Embedded Hardware design

Thanks


 

Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a circuit board design software application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded circuit board designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

To start building your circuit board design now click on Access Tool.


Ever tried Auto-placement?

Here are few pictures which tell a story of how most of the circuit board design software’s doing a component placement job.

Schematic with decoupling

Schematic with decoupling capacitors

Component Placement on PCB

Component Placement on PCB1

Component Placement on PCB 2

Component Placement on PCB 2

The placement Picture shows how badly the CAD tools have badly messed up placement. With bad placement the objective of placement of capacitors closer to the device stands nullified. It is important that decoupling capacitors are placed closer to the power pins of the device in correct orientation with the shortest path possible with thick traces which can offer lower inductance path for the current flow.

From our experiments the auto placement results were poor when using under following conditions:

  1. Irregular Board outline
  2. Segregating high voltage circuits from low power circuits
  3. Placement of high speed components around on the board to minimise noise and get good signal integrity on the signals.

Hence most of the designers prefer to perform the component placement of the board and then use or don’t use auto routers for quick layout.

Component placement should ideally have knowledge about:

  1. What the circuit is all about? It should know what are components, power, clocks, reset, high speed circuits, smd/through hole footprints, constraints? Without this knowledge any placement engine output is just not complete.
  2. It should understand the board outline, placement constraints, pcb layers.
  3. It should understand netlist which most of the routers use for current optimal placement. All components are placed so that the nets/traces can have shortest distance between the device and receiver.

At circuit tree we care about this problem and are working to solve this problem.  We believe that by offering intelligent part placement of our design solutions designers can use auto routers or manually route the board to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete the design.

This new feature is under development and showing promising results. Stay tuned to know when we start offering this exciting new feature.


 

Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a circuit board design software application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded circuit board designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

To start building your circuit board design now click on Access Tool.


 

 

Ten quick reasons to use circuit tree in your next embedded PCB board design

1. Save Design Time and Cost by quickly creating automatic schematic and pcb placement design with any of the 1000 processors or micro-controllers. We dont store any circuit board designs and all design are auto generated on the fly. Get the most intelligent component placement recommendation for the board.

Circuit-tree-designs3


 

2. Wide range of processors and micro-controller parts from Texas-intrument, Nvidia, St micro, Atmel or NXP.

supported_semiconductor_vendors


 

3. Export your design creations to popular Cadence orcad , Mentor pads, Eagle and Altium for further customisations. Designs remain yours forever.

pcb-vendors2


 

4. Quick Product cost estimate. Get real time cost from octopart and PCB house for the pcb cost.

bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart

bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart


 

5. Support for variety of board form factors such as Computer on Module, System on Module and Various form factor boards.

various-periphearl


 

6. Large peripheral library along with growing list of components. Change components on the fly for the design and get a new design created in 60 seconds.


 

7. Assured quality. We go the extra mile to ensure that the designs generated are correct.

 


 

8. We value your Privacy. We don’t sell personal information to another site.


 

9. Growing Artificial Design Engine that grows with every user interaction and part addition in library. artificial-intelligence-in-embedded-pcb-design


 

10. Site has been created by engineers for engineers.


 

Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a circuit board design software application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded circuit board designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

Here is a introduction video to circuit tree:

To start building your circuit board design now click on Access Tool.


 

Real time BOM cost through Octopart

We are happy to announce that we are using octopart to fetch cost of the bill of material in real time. The way it works is

  1. After you build design schematic the unit cost of the circuit tree selected part is fetched from octopart.
  2. The unit cost is found from the list of the vendor options in octopart to provide the lowest cost option to the user. The minimum order quantity which is closest to the order quantity is also selected.
  3. The ordering link is provided in the Bill of material excel sheet for you to order from.
  4. The total cost of the bill of material for each components is calculated for the quantity and provided in the excel sheet.

This is a great option as it helps your design by:

  1. Estimating the cost of his bill of material before starting with a design.
  2. Change part in circuit tree requirement editor in real time to reduce cost of the bill of material.
  3. By helping to reduce obsolescence issues and component procurement issues.
Figure1: Snapshot of Bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart

Snapshot of Bill of material excel sheet generated from octopart

Some of the other example Bill of materials can be found at following link.


Short Introduction to Circuit tree

Circuit tree is a circuit board design software application having intelligence of a hardware engineer to create embedded circuit board designs. It features more than 1000+ processors and controllers along with extended hardware peripheral library.

Here is a introduction video to circuit tree:

To start building your circuit board design now click on Access Tool.