Reading time : 2 minutes
Published on 18 Jun 2020 - Updated on 05 Dec 2020

This page contains all basics rules that must be checked during schematics phase.

Power Supply

  • Power pins are connected to the right voltage
  • Analog power pins are connected to a quiet power rail with a PI filter (Capacitor, Ferrite, Capacitor)
  • One 100nF bypass capacitor per digital Power pin
  • One 100nF bypass capacitor for two analog power pins if they are next to each other.
  • Power sequence at power on and power off follow chip specification

I/O Pins

  • I/O pins are connected to a supported voltage level
  • I/O pins might use sample at reset configuration. Check that the right configuration is applied, resistor has the right value and it is connected to supported voltage
  • Pin direction is clearly identified on schematics
  • Pin direction is supported by the chosen I/O pin
  • Check that if a special hardware fonction is required, it is available (blink, SATA activity, …)


  • Show clock frequencies on schematics
  • Check that clock frequency is right
  • In case of a crystal, check capacitor load value
  • In case of a crystal, check resistive load value

Differential pairs

  • For each differential pair, polarity and impedance are indicated (single ended and common)


  • All IC with a reset pin must reset at every power on or product wake up. If this is not possible, CPU shall be able to control reset using a GPIO.
  • Chips ID shall be identified in Hardware specification document
  • Chips address on bus shall be identified on Schematics and Hardware specification


  • Bulk capacitors : 22uF every square inch per power plane
  • Decoupling capacitors : 1x100nF per power ball
  • DC/DC minimal efficiency shall be 85%


  • Chips ID or address shall be visible on schematics (I²C, JTAG, PCIE …)
  • Important nets must have a clear name (Differentials pairs, power rails, CPU signals, Memories)
  • Double footprints shall have correct reference (R57, R57A, R57B, etc…)
  • Run DRC tools to check if there are unconnected nets
  • Generate a BOM and check that it is ok (footprints, component value, tolerance, voltage)
  • Check that “NC” (not connected) parts are really not connected.
  • Collect all datasheets, erratas and make sure you have the latest version
  • Check for all available tools from chip manufacturer