This week, after some more reading about the board and the connections and also some more reading on PCB design, I started using Kicad. Which is a very powerful PCB design software and it can be used for highly complex projects. After watching a few tutorials online and going through the starter tutorial by Kicad. I started looking at the current design and also an updated version, done by the previous interns.
My task is basically to redesign the board, fix the design problems that exist in the current board and also replace the FPGA. Looking at the design done by the previous interns, I realised only the power connections are set up. The other problem was that some of the components are not represented correctly and they are missing some pins. This design does not look very promising so the best approach in my opinion, is to use the existing board design and implement the changes on that. The only component that will be changed is the FPGA, since we are only changing its package so the power, network and PIC connections all stay the same. However, the coupling capacitors have to be redesigned and all the connections to the FPGA may vary.
Migration in FPGA families
If it is within the family then it would be much easier since most of the connections will remain the same as long as that pin’s label stays the same.