Guide for creating Design from Scratch with circuit tree

17 October 2016

Here is a guide for a new user as well as provide details to a user about the design flow.

Let us start with a example wherein you select a design suggested in our post. The post contains a am3352 processor from texas instrument and is fairly popular among engineers. In the example we create create design schematic for a olimex board.

Evaluation of circuit tree with olimex am3352 board

To start with, login to the site Circuit tree tool and you will enter at the requirement editor section.

A clear design requirements editor will have only Board Entry Power block on the editor area similar to shown in the figure below


On the left side from the library menu look for the Texas instrument Processor AM3352 then drag and drop the block to the editor area. Once block will be placed a Board Entry Power menu will be popped out similar to one shown in the screenshot. Select the connector, input voltage range and type of the power and press Save changes button.

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Once the processor is on editor area user can continue to place other peripheral devices according to their requirements, Click the expand icon of the TI AM3352 processor and design option windows will appear. Select the appropriate options and click save changes button to go back to the editor.

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From the library menu look for the Ethernet library and place the block to the editor. Once the block is placed in editor area Ethernet Library menu will be opened. Select the library functions from the drop down list that includes all Ethernet supported modes. For the demonstration we are picking parts and modes similar to the Olimex AM3352 SOM board. Click the Get Parts button and wait for the application to choose best suited part. If the selected part is not you are looking for the click the expand button on ‘Select other Matching Parts’ section.

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A window will be popped up with all other available parts of the family. Select the suitable part and click Save changes button. There are other device specific options available for user to choose from, click the button indicated by arrow on selected part and application will take you to the available design options.

Select the appropriate options and press Save changes button on both opened windows and this will take you back to the editor area with all selected options saved in engine’s database.

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To copy the olimex SOM board design, repeat all previous steps to add another Ethernet PHY to the editor area. Once done adding Ethernet PHYs to the board look for the DDR3/L Memory Library from the library menu. Select the library function options and click Get Parts button to let the application select respective part then click Save changes button to go back to the editor area.

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To add NAND memory to your board look for the Parallel Memory  Library and place the block to the editor area. In Library Functions drop down menu select the NAND option and click Get Parts button. If the selected part is right click save changes button or click button represented by arrow in Select other Matching Parts.

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Look for the 8GB NAND memory and then click the radio button to select the part and then click save changes button on both windows to go back to the editor area.

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To add SD card support to your design place the SD Library to your design and choose from the SDHC connector, Micro SD Connector and emmc memory. Click the Get Parts and once application finished loading part click save changes button to go back to the editor area.

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For debugging, CT also support debug connectors to be placed on the board. Place the JTAG library on the editor and select ARM 2X10 Connector or other from the library function options. Click get parts button and then click save changes button to finish placing JTAG connector and to transfer the control to the main editor.

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Circuit tree also includes CAN transceivers for industrial and automotive designs. Place the CAN library from the library menu and click the Get parts button on library menu. To change the selected part click the expand button on the Select Other Matching Parts section.

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As our guide is based on the Olimex SOM board and to follow the same parts, look for the SN65HVD230D CAN transceiver check the radio button and click to save changes button to go back to the CAN library window. Click the expand button in selected part section to explore more device specific options. Once device specific options are selected click save changes button to complete the CAN part selection.

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Next peripheral to add to the design is USB, application supports USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and ULPI transceivers. To add USB to the design look for the USB Library and place to the editor area, select the library functions and click Get Parts button to let the application select the suitable part. Once the part is selected click the save changes button to finish the wizard. Repeat the steps for OTG and HOST peripheral connectors.

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Circuit tree also allow user to route connector to any interfaces to connector peripherals externally to the board. To add connector to the design, look for the connector block in components library. Once the connector is added to the editor a window will be popped out for connector options. Select the proper sizing of the connector and number convention and click save changes button. Note the connector designator that will be used in next step.


Next add UART block to the editor area, now here is a new thing instead of looking for parts click the expand icon under ‘Route Interface to Connector’ section and the connector configuration window will be popped up. Select rout the interface option and connector designator from the previous step. Once done click save changes button to finish routing connector to the interface.

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Same can be done with SPI and I2C interfaces, to add connector to SPI interface place Serial Memory Library block from the library menu select SPI and rest of the process is same. For I2C interface, in Serial Memory Library select I2C from the library functions drop down menu and repeat the same process.

The menu’s are easy to use and the interface has been created for quick turnaround of the design.


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.