Schematic vs. Layout

Whats the difference between a schematic and a layout?

The schematic is a drawing that depicts and specifies the logical connections between components on a PCB. It basically shows you what’s connected to what, but doesn’t tell you how they’re physically connected – only simply that they’re connected. A schematic contains a “netlist” behind the scenes, which is a simple data structure that lists of every connection in the design, as specified by the schematic drawing.

In contrast, the layout is a drawing that depicts the physical connections between components. It shows the exact physical locations of every component on the PCB and shows the physical wires (traces) that connect them together. This drawing is ultimately what a manufacturer uses to fabricate the PCB.

A PCB design tool, like Upverter, verifies that components in a layout are connected as intended by comparing against the schematic netlist.

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