Product:

  • product
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  • 1. How can the application help a embedded hardware designer?
     

    Use Circuit Tree to Design following types of board:

    1. IOT Board
    2. System on Modules
    3. Single Board computers
    4. Reference design or
    5. Your own type of board.

    Circuit Tree has thousand of processor/microcontroller parts along with variety of peripherals and clock, power, reset parts to help design the above type of boards.

    Useful Features in Circuit Tree

    1. Requirement editor to help capture wide variety of board requirements
    2. Schematic viewer to view the generated design by circuit tree hardware compiler
    3. Real time BOM cost from Octopart
    4. Schematic export options to Cadence Orcad, Mentor Pads, Altium, Eagle along with PDF files.
    5. Layout viewer to view the AI driven Auto part placement based on user form factor.
    6. Layout export options to eagle along with library of the design.
    7. Ability to go back and recreate the design with new part in minutes.

    Curious about  Circuit Tree

    Check out out github library by clicking on the image below:

    GitHub circuit-tree embedded design repository

  • 2. How is the generated design checked?
     

    Refer our blog page where we have covered the answer in detail.

  • 3. Can the application also do timing calculation and Pre-Signal integrity analysis?
     

    Timing calculations

    Yes.  In the upcoming beta circuit tree release of the application the layout help document contains the the various signal and clock routing constraints for peripheral connections. For reset, power generation and distribution timing calculations are done to ensure that it meets the circuit requirement. It does not generate separate timing information in any document.

    Signal integrity

    No. It is highly recommended that the pre and post signal integrity analysis be performed on the design generated by application.

  • 4. How do you ensure that component obsolescence, errata, ECN's don't affect my design?
     

    We have our circuit tree database connected to Octopart which helps to find component obsolescence.

    Errata check is still done manually by experienced hardware engineers.

  • 5. How to add my parts/libraries in circuit tree application?
     

    Active Parts:

    You can request your parts/libraries to be added in the design by dropping us a email at info@circuit-tree.com with parts you want them to be added in our library. We work at first come first serve basis.

    Passive Parts:

    You can upload your libraries in circuit tree and we can use those parts to create design. Wherein the parts are not found circuit tree will add its own parts in library.

     

  • 6. What are the limitations of the circuit tree application?
     

    Limitations

    1. RF design
    2. Analog filters
    3. Programmable logic such as FPGA and CPLD can be added only with a xml file in circuit tree. This feature is not supported in the tool yet.
    4. Plug in modules to be used with the embedded cards cannot be designed yet.

     

  • 7. How can the application help a semiconductor company?
     

    Current Customer Interaction Model

    1. Create reference designs which are deemed best fit for your customers to showcase your application specific components
    2. Share the design files with them to allow them to quickly iterate and modify sections of the design.
    3. Customer in most probability would redesign the board and not use the same design.
    4. Help major customers with generation of design, design reviews etc.
    5. Share component errata with customer and ensure that thousands of customer don't miss out on the changes needed in the design.

    Circuit Tree solution for your customer

    1. Circuit tree server can be hosted on your site with your semiconductor library.  This is a advantage for your customer to design reliable design using your parts in minutes. Be it System on module, single board computer, IOT Board , reference designs or any form factor circuit tree can design it all.
    2. Errata updates are easy to updates in our models. We can create all type of component connections as are defined in the datasheets. We love datasheets and we follow them to the detail.
    3. Circuit tree designs are easy to recreate in minutes.
  • 8. What are the system requirements to run the application?
     

    Requirements

    1. The application is a online web application and works most reliable when opened on a desktop. Circuit tree does not install any software on your system.
    2. You need a eda tool to view the generated schematics and layout.
    3. A pdf reader and a csv reader are additional programs required to view the deliverable.
    4. The application is best used with google chrome ,safari and mozilla browser. Microsoft Internet explorer and edge are not recommended with circuit tree.

    The application can be hosted on a private server for any custom requirements. You can write to us at info@circuit-tree.com with your specific needs/questions.

     

  • 9. Reference designs are already provided by semiconductor companies. How can circuit tree help?
     

    The reference designs provided by semiconductor companies are already proven and are used as a reference for most of the design. However the reference designs cater to a fixed functionality only. Using a existing design and modifying it is not always straightforward. Try adding /changing components in the design to see the effort it takes.

    With circuit tree you get the benefit of reduced time to market and flexibility to change design on the fly and generating it.

Requirement Capture:

  • Requirement Captrue
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  • 1. How to use examples for generating a design?
     

    In the menu bar there is an example section. There look for the processor you want to use and click on the example. A block diagram is loaded which contains list of predefined peripherals and features in it.

    Next go ahead and press the get schematic button.

    For more details of the tool you can refer to the guide

    Application Operating guide

     

  • 2. What different form factors are offered through the tool?
     

    In the next release following board form factor options will be selectable

    • ATX
    • PCIe
    • XMC/PMC
    • Custom
    • Micro ATX

    In the current release the custom board option is provided. Board power entry is predefined through a 2 pin header. The clocks , resets and power sequencing is generated on board.

  • 3. Why do i get error while adding peripheral or when create schematic is pressed?
     

    There can be number of reason why you may getting error:

    1. When a peripheral is added in the requirement page the processor checks for pin muxing option to see if the pins can be assigned for the user interface. If the solution cannot be generated then a pin muxing error will be generated. You can either press create schematic button or you will have to change the peripheral requirements or change the processor.
    2. Using devices which are not compatible with the processor interface or controller is not present
    3. Multiple peripherals devices are being used to interconnect to the processor which it cannot support.
    4. For any other issues you need to contact us with your username to us and or submit a ticket.
  • 4. How can i change components which the tool has selected in the design?
     

    Changing components in circuit tree is quite simple. Add the peripheral you wish to add in the board. Now click on the icon placed above the library component to open the pop up block.

    Ethernet_advanced_features

    In the pop up form you will need to select function and press get parts button to allow part selection for the processor. The application will take few seconds to select a component from the library and propose other alternatives. You can click upon the select matching parts and scroll through parts.

    Ethernet Library component selection

    The component to be selected can be done by clicking on the radio button as shown below

    select_component

     

  • 5. How to select a component design/configuration options?
     

    Design options are the features which needs to be selected during design period. For instance if you want to wish that a components should be connected with a crystal and not with a clock, then you can use a option. You can change the addresses, voltage options or booting option by exercising this feature. Some of the feature are auto detected selected for circuit design on which you not have a control. For instance RMII/MII selection power on configuration logic is selected by the AI engine.

    To change configuration options follow the steps outlined in the link below:

    http://circuit-tree.com/faqwd/how-does-the-processor-select-components/

    Once the component is selected by circuit tree click on the icon shown below to open the configuration option menu which is custom for every component.

    pic6_comp_selection_configuration

    In the pop up menu select the drop down option from different tabs.

    component_configurations

    In case you are not sure or dont enter any values circuit tree will automatically preselect the options based on what it thinks is the best option.

  • 6. How to add connectors in the design?
     

    A connector can be used in the design to route any peripheral component connections to a connector. Please note the part selection is left to the user and the designs would be created with the dummy part connector details.

    Add connector block from the left side to the canvas and define the number of pins supposed to be in the connector. Press ok and note the connector id JXX.

    To route any connection to the connector select a peripheral and press route interface to connector icon as shown below:

    connector_selection

    next select the connector part number to route the processor interface connections to the connector

    connector_id_selection

     

Al Engine:

  • Al Engine
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  • 1. How does the application create a complex hardware design?
     

    The circuit tree application uses lots of models. The models contain the information which is needed by the engine to generate the design. There are number of rules which define how a component is to be connected to each other. These rules have been written by hardware design experts who have more than 20 years of experience in designing a working hardware. In addition it has very smart algorithms in different areas to generate a unique solution for every requirement.

    With so many components and combinations the application has a verification engine also to ensure that the created design is correct and is highly functional. The process is completely automated and all designs are tested/checked by hardware design experts before they are allowed to be used by the tool.

     

  • 2. How is the reset distributed on board?
     

    Resets on boards can be generated by components, connectors or buttons etc. Circuit tree application finds out different category of resets from requirements and then creates circuit to ensure that it meet power sequencing, voltage thresholds and timing part of the reset.

    Check our blog section to see a use case of reset distribution analysis done by the tool.

  • 3. What are the type of clock circuits generated by the application?
     

    The application can design a clock circuit for an embedded design using these different type of components

    1. Single ended clocks
    2. Clock crystals
    3. Differential clocks
    4. Single ended Clock buffers
    5. Differential clocks buffers
    6. Custom circuit clock generators (Ex. PCIe)
    7. Component generated clocks.

    In beta release users will have an option to optimize and create dynamic circuits with options to changes how the clocks should be connected on board.

Output:

  • Output
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  • 1. Which tools can the application created design exported to?
     

    In the current release export to following tools is enabled:

    • Altium designer
    • Eagle

    A user can also export complete design to a pdf file. To use this option go to export design and click on all pages pdf. The file would download on to your desktop.

    In the next release we plan to offer support to following tool:

     

    • Cadence Allegro
    • Mentor pads.

     

  • 2. What can i expect when i download the design packages?
     

    When you select to export the design to various tools then a zip file is generated.

    The zip file contains design information along with the scripts to help setup your

    1. Schematic file.
    2. Symbol Library

    This functionality will be enabled from beta release only.

  • 3. Is there is design document created with every design?
     

    No currently the tool is not generating this document. This will be supported in later releases of the application.