(PCB Board Design Tutorial) Creating Component Library for Atmega328P

(Note: This is the 1st tutorial out of 4. There are four series which start with Creating Component Libraries – which is this guide – and ending with finishing the PCB Board Design for Arduino Nano.

For this tutorial you will need to download and install Altium Designer)

In order to create the component library, first we need to download the component itself.

So what we do is search for Atmega328P, and download the pdf version which contains the Venn Diagram, how many pins it contains and how this pins are arranged.

You can download the file here!

Its should contain the following image and look something like this:

PCB Board Design Top View with Altium
Top View of The PCB Board Design

And the other image that we need from the file:

PCB Board 32-Pin TQFP

Now that we have the components of the design it’s time to jump in Altium and start by creating a new project in integrated libraries option:

PCB Board Design With Altium
New Integrated Library for PCB Board Design

Now we need to add a schematic and PCB, so right click on the new available PCB Integrated library that we created, and select Add New to Project > Schematic Library:

Add New Schematic for the PCB Board Design

You should see the new schematic window which should look something like this:

PCB Board Design Schematic

Now click in the Home Page button, in the tab above, and in the same manner as above, right-click on the PCB integrated library, Add New to Project > PCB Library (for reference check the image below):

PCB Board Design new PCB Library

Now that we have both the schematic and the PCB Board Design in the integrated library, save the PCB Library with the name of our component (preferably in a folder named Library):

PCB Library

Now that we have both the schematic and the PCB library, we are free to continue with the design of the schematic, based on the design of the Atmega328P pdf file that we downloaded.

To do that, we right click on the schematic and start placing the pins and other components as in the abovementioned file.

First we start by drawing a rectangular shape, which symbolizes the PCB Board. To that click on Tools > Rectangle, and start drawing out the rectangular shape of the PCB which should look something like the following:

Rectangular Shape of the PCB Design

Next, we do the same process, but we proceed on entering the pins. Based on the model we downloaded from the file, we have 8 pins per side. Making them 32 pins total for the PCB Board. Adjust the size of the rectangle accordingly. The final schematic for now should like like the following:

PCB Board Schematic

(Tip: In order to rotate the pin, hit the space button until the right orientation is given. To change details of a specific pin, double click on it and save the changes. )

Now that we have the pins placed, it’s time to rename them according to the Atmega328P PCB Board Model.

What I would recommend is split the screen in two, placing the PCB Model with the Altium Designer Side by Side like this:

PCB Board Schematic and Model

Now we can double click on one of the pins and change the name of each one of them. We can do that by copy pasting the name straight from the Atmega328P PCB Board.

PCB Board Design Phase of changing Pin Names
PCB Pins Name Changing

Now we can go on and change the names properties as in the pdf file in the same manner. Go on until your final image looks like this:

PCB Board Schematic
PCB Schematic Names

Now you can save the project by right clicking on the schematic file name, and give it a new name that you’d like. You could also edit any properties that you’d like (such as descriptions, links etc.). Its all up to you and the scope of the future projects.

Next in line we have to create the PCB board components symbols.

To do that, we need to scroll down on the pdf file for the component as review the following:

32-PIN 1 Identifier
Symbols and common dimensions for the PCB Board
Symbols and Common Dimensions

Now that we have the dimensions we need to create the footprint for the PCB. Altium Designer has a feature which helps us facilitate the process and not do the footprint manually.

To do that, click on the Tools > IPC Compliant footprint wizard:

PCB Board Compliant Footprint Wizard
IPC Footprint Wizard

You should see the following:

IPC Footprint Designer for the PCB Board
IPC Footprint Designer

Press Next, and from the list select the plastic quad flat package, which is the same as TQFP (Which is the design of our PCB).

PQFP = Plastic Quad Flat Pack
PQFP = Plastic Quad Flat Pack

Now hit next and put the following dimensions (which are extracted from PDF File).

PCB Board Dimensions
PCB Board Overall Dimensions

Keep the Side of Location D, and click on 2D – to change it to 3D. Now hit next and you will see the following requirements, which again you need to fill following the PCB convention file.

PCB Components

Click Next, and keep the following default values. Then save the PCB footprint and click finish. Below is the PCB design footprint that you will see:

PCB
Footprint of the PCB

Now we need to add footprint to this design and link it to the previous schematic of the PCB. To do that go to schematic library and click on the component > Add Footprint. Then Browse and select the footprint that we just created.

This is the First Part of the Tutorial. To continue please follow the next part of the PCB Board Design Guide.

If you liked the tutorial so far, share, comment so more people can learn for free!

February 5, 2021
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[…] back from part 1 – now we have to link the […]

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