Original Date: March 16, 2014
I was going through a SparkFun tutorial on reading schematics, when I decided to use it as an opportunity to learn a thing or two about PCB layout.
My candidate circuit was that of the FT231x breakout board mentioned in the article. SparkFun releases all of its products as Open Source Hardware, so the relevant schematics were provided on the product page.
Laying out the board proved to be tricky, almost game/puzzle-like. It was a lot like the popular game Flow where you are trying to connect two things and the wires joining them are not allowed to overlap.
I was a bit tight with the traces, but here’s the end result:
They are of course nowhere near as clean as SparkFun’s layout (see below). But like the game, this is something you get better at the more you do it.