ChatGPT opines on KiCad development

Just for kicks I asked ChatGPT what features it thought should be developed for KiCad in future and here is the result. I think the answer is quite general but one could be fooled into thinking that a human wrote the reply. :thinking:

What features do you think should be added to KiCad in future versions?

There are a number of features that users of KiCad might like to see added in future versions. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Improved 3D visualization and rendering capabilities: This could include support for more realistic materials and lighting, as well as the ability to import and export 3D models in a variety of formats.
  2. Enhanced constraint solver: A more powerful constraint solver would allow users to easily specify complex design rules and constraints, and would make it easier to achieve precise placements and alignments of components.
  3. Improved schematic and layout editing tools: Additional tools for editing and manipulating schematics and layouts could make it easier for users to create and modify their designs.
  4. Enhanced support for collaborative design: Features such as version control, collaboration tools, and support for distributed design teams could make it easier for teams to work on KiCad projects together.
  5. Enhanced integration with other tools and platforms: Improved integration with other tools and platforms, such as simulation and prototyping tools, could make it easier for users to take their designs from concept to reality.
  6. Improved support for high-speed design: Features specifically designed for high-speed design, such as improved signal integrity analysis and simulation tools, could make it easier for users to create and verify high-speed designs.
  7. Enhanced support for FPGA design: Improved support for FPGA design, including tools for synthesizing designs and generating bitstreams, could make KiCad a more attractive option for FPGA designers.

These are just a few ideas, and the actual features that are added to future versions of KiCad will depend on the priorities and goals of the development team.

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What information is accessed to reach these conclusions?

2 days ago I asked ChatGPT to design a boost converter for 12V input and 60V 2A output.

It gave me (yes generalized) instructions but no design. It gave me all the below through “…have any questions”:

Here are the steps you can follow to design a 250 KHz boost converter to boost 12V to 60V at 2 Amps:

  1. Determine the required output power: The output power of the converter can be calculated using the following formula: Pout = Vout x Iout = 60V x 2A = 120W
  2. Choose a switching device: The switching device is an important component of the boost converter and determines the efficiency of the converter. You can choose a suitable switching device based on the required output power, switching frequency, and the required switching speed. For a 250 KHz boost converter, you can consider using a MOSFET or an IGBT.
  3. Select the inductor and capacitor values: The values of the inductor and capacitor determine the switching frequency and ripple current in the converter. You can use the following formula to calculate the inductor value: L = Vout x (t_on + t_off) / (Vin x Iout x f_sw) where t_on and t_off are the on-time and off-time of the switching device, f_sw is the switching frequency, and Vin and Iout are the input voltage and output current, respectively. The value of the capacitor can be calculated using the following formula: C = Iout x (t_on + t_off) / (Vout x f_sw x ΔV) where ΔV is the ripple voltage.
  4. Choose a control IC: The control IC is used to control the switching of the switching device. You can choose a suitable control IC based on the switching frequency and the required output power.
  5. Design the converter circuit: You can use the selected components to design the boost converter circuit. The circuit should include the switching device, inductor, capacitor, control IC, and other supporting components such as diodes and resistors.
  6. Test and optimize the converter: Once you have designed the converter circuit, you can test it to verify that it is working as expected. You can then optimize the converter by adjusting the values of the inductor and capacitor to reduce ripple and improve efficiency.
    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

Why don’t you ask ChatGPT that question as a follow-up?

Did that information help you design the circuit in an hour or two?

Alas, no. I have problems talking with machines :slightly_frowning_face:

I can’t even relate to the supermarket self-serve checkouts.

Hah! If I had wanted to design a converter, that would have been no help whatsoever. I did not read it so carefully to study for correctness. I am not sure it is all correct.

Somehow I had a feeling that was the sort of reply I’d receive :rofl:

How do you know I’m not a robot cat like Doraemon? :smirk_cat:

If you were a robot cat, you would have been designed with cat like behavior. Cat like behavior is something you seem not to have.
I know cat like behavior, we have two cats. :smiley_cat:

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Ok, I gave it another perennial favourite on these forums. Hmmm.

I am getting Error: power input pin not driven in KiCad ERC on a schematic, why is that?

There are a few potential reasons why you might see the “power input pin not driven” error in KiCad’s Electrically Relevant Components (ERC) tool:

  1. You have not connected a power source to the power input pin. Make sure that you have a power source (such as a battery or power supply) connected to the power input pin of your schematic.

  2. You have connected a power source to the power input pin, but there is a problem with the connection. Double-check the connections to the power input pin to make sure they are properly connected and not broken or otherwise problematic.

  3. The power input pin is not properly defined in the schematic. Make sure that you have properly defined the power input pin in your schematic, including setting the correct pin type and electrical properties.

  4. There is a problem with the power input pin in the schematic symbol. Make sure that the power input pin in the schematic symbol for the component is properly defined and matches the definition in the schematic.

  5. There is a problem with the power input pin in the PCB layout. If you are also getting this error when running the ERC on the PCB layout, make sure that the power input pin in the PCB layout is properly connected and matches the definition in the schematic.

If you are still having trouble after checking these things, you may want to try running the ERC again or reviewing the error messages that it provides for more specific information about the problem.

This one is much based on this KiCad blog post, but also this forum discussion and probably gitlab issues. Only the last sentence is not implemented.