[Newbie] Limited pins in the default symbol library

I am new to KiCad and I am stuck at the beginning. I have to design a board which uses a Spartan-6 FPGA part from Xilinx. The default library (latest update from Github) does have the part, but only a few of the pins are available in the provided symbol, excluding many of the IO pins that I need.

What are my options here? I understand a working alternative would be to create my own symbol with all the required pins, which are many, but probably there are python scripts out there to automate this task. However, I do not understand why does the default symbol provide only a limited number of pins (this is not the case with other proprietary PCB design tools)? Is there some options to uncover rest of the hidden pins (IO, not power), or to get hold of a better symbol library?

Thanks for reading. Any help is appriciated.

The XC6S consists of four units A, B, C, D. Sounds like you placed the first unit which is A.

  • place three more XC6S.
  • select one by one
  • hit E for edit
  • change the unit assignments.

Each unit will change into their respective part. After that you should see all pins.

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if you browse through the “Choose Symbol” tree of libraries & components you have direct access to the A,B,C,D sub units of your part:

These are of course just simple / generic symbols.
For FPGA’s you may want to draw your own with functions combined in logical blocks.
In KiCad there are a lot of ways to make schematic symbols and footprints. From KiCad’s own editors to a lot of external tools & scripts.

Because of the Open Source qualities of KiCad lots of people have made addons, which are sprinkled over the interenet.
There are tools for directly extracting symbol information from datasheet.pdf, python scripts for generating symbols, web based tools and many more.

I’ve seen collections of such tools on sites like github and gitlab.

Those spartans are quite beasts.
For beginners with KiCad, I advise to start with some simple designs.
Even designing a blinking LED with a NE555 heps with getting to know the workflow of KiCad, even though it’s a bit too simple to really get the workflow in KiCad right.

If you start with a complex design, you risk making some simple mistakes which need a lot of time to fix and repair.
With a simple design, you can simply scrap it and start over and improve with each iteration.

To learn to work with KiCad a design of some 10 to 20 parts seems optimal.

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