What is Verilog and how does it differ from PCB design software like Altium?


What is Verilog and how does it differ from PCB design software like Altium?

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it is closer to a programming language that then compiles down to instructions to flash to a chip.

Verilog essentially designs and verifies a electronic design. It simulates the operation and would let you know if it would actually work in the real world. A motherboard manufacturer would use verilog to ensure the data lines for ram where the correct spacing/length/shape to prevent EMI emissions from messing things up and for compliance.

Altium (and others) are mainly design based and would let you produce a garbage board that barely works.

For starters verilog is a language whereas PCB design software is a software. Verilog is a hardware description language which means it helps you to write description of any circuit in form of its basic components,for example say you want to make a 1 bit adder, so verilog will let you describe the functionality of this adder using basic building blocks that are logic gates(AND,OR..etc.).There are various simulators like modelsim,vivado etc which then let you simulate your code and verify its correctness. Once you are sure that your code is functionally correct you can proceed to synthesis in terms of actual circuit components.Say you want functionality you have coded to be built using an FPGA, the synthesis tools like vivado will extract out information from your code and determine what all basic components will be required to actually realize your code(in FPGA’s they are mostly MUX,Flip-flops,LUTs). After which tool will try to built an optimal circuit using those components and produce a code that can be loaded onto the FPGA to produce the exact functionality you have coded.

For PCB design software i guess its more like finding proper connections for what is already present on the board and usually works well for smaller less complex designs where chances of going wrong are lesser, hence no rigorous verification is required.

Verilog was designed for coding circuits that would have been very tedious to design and check by hand, for example a custom 32 bit processor.

P.S. : I don’t know much about PCB design software but have some understanding of verilog.

Verilog is a way to describe how you want to hook up logic gates and wires to each other, as in which gates are connected to which other gates. However, after you’ve decided this, you still have to figure out where to physically place all the gates and wires. This is where layout tools are used.