Library Conventions | KiCad EDA

Version 3.0.43

Library maintainer rules & guidelines

F5.3 Courtyard layer requirements

The component courtyard is defined as the smallest rectangular area that provides a minimum electrical and mechanical clearance around the combined component body and land pattern boundaries. It is allowed to create a contoured courtyard area using a polygon instead of a simple rectangle. (IPC-7351C)

The courtyard should include any extra required clearance for mating connectors (for example).

KiCad refers to the courtyard layers as:

  • F.CrtYd - Front courtyard layer

  • B.CrtYd - Back courtyard layer

A fully enclosed Component courtyard must be drawn on the F.CrtYd layer, with the following parameters:

  1. Courtyard uses 0.05mm line width

  2. All courtyard line elements are placed on a 0.01mm grid

  3. If the component requires a courtyard on the back of the PCB, a corresponding courtyard must be provided on the B.CrtYd layer.

  4. Where the courtyard depends on the dimensions of the physical part body, clearance is calculated from the nominal part dimensions.

Courtyard clearance should adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Unless otherwise specified, clearance is 0.25mm

  2. Components smaller than 0603 should have a clearance of 0.15mm

  3. Connectors should have a clearance of 0.5mm, in addition to the clearance required for mating of connector

  4. Canned capacitors should have a clearance of 0.5mm

  5. Crystals should have a clearance of 0.5mm

  6. BGA devices should have a clearance of 1.0mm

Example for courtyard clearance when applied to the contoured courtyard outline of a QFP-64 package. (Shown are courtyard, fab-outline and copper pads.)