AM437x Schematic Checklist

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This article applies to the following devices:

Here are some links to some TI hardware designs based on AM437x:

  • AM437x GP EVM: TBD

If migrating from a previous TI processor, you can use the following migration guides as a start:

Don't forget to check the AM437x errata when designing a board (see the product folder on This will have important information on silicon issues which may alter your board design.

Also check these other useful links:

Recommendations Specific to AM437x

Unused Signals

Signals on interfaces that are unused can typically be left as no connect. Many of the IOs have a Pad Control Register (see the Control Module chapter of the TRM for more details) which gives control over the input capabilities of the I/O (RXACTIVE field in each conf_<module>_<pin> register). Software should disable the receivers I/Os which are no connects (ie, RXACTIVE=0) as soon as possible in initialization. This RXACTIVE field defaults to "input active" for most signals, which means there is a potential for some leakage during powerup of the chip if the input floats to a mid-supply level before the software can initialize the I/O. This should only be a concern if you are attempting to power up the design with a minimum power consumption. Most designs should be able to tolerate this small amount of leakage in each floating I/O until the software has a change to disable it. After disabling the receiver of the I/O, no leakage will occur.

Unused Power Rails

If ADC0/1 are not used...
  • Connect all TSC_ADC terminals (VREFP, VREFN, AIN[7:0], VDDA_ADC, and VSSA_ADC) to same ground as all VSS terminals.
If USB0 or USB1 is not used...
  • Connect the respective VDDA1P8V_USB terminal to any 1.8-V power supply and respective VDDA3P3V_USB terminal to any 3.3-V power supply. If the system does not have a 3.3-V power supply, the VDDA3P3V_USB terminal may be connected to ground.
    • The OTG_PWRDN and CM_PWRDN bits in the respective USB_CTRLx register can be used to power down the unused USB PHY to minimize power supply leakage current. These bits default to the powered-up state after the the device has been reset. The USB PHY can be powered down by setting both of these bits to "1".
  • The respective VBUS, ID, DP, and DM terminals may be connected to ground or left floating.
  • The respective CE terminal should be left floating.
If RTC internal oscillator is not used...
  • This can be the case when:
    • A 1.8 volt LVCMOS clock source is used rather than a crystal circuit
      • Connect the clock source to the RTC_XTALIN terminal, leave the RTC_XTALOUT terminal open-circuit, and connect VSS_RTC to VSS
    • The RTC is not used:

System Issues


  • ensure all pullups connected to AM437x are pulled up to the correct I/O voltage to avoid any leakage between the I/O rails of the device. Each terminal has an associated voltage used to power its I/O cell. This can be found in the AM437x datasheet, in the Ball Characteristics table.
    • For example, if you want to pull up terminal SPI0_CS0 in any mux mode (gpio0_5, i2c1_scl, etc.), pull up the signal to VDDSHV3.
  • nRESETIN_OUT requires an external pullup.

Peripheral clock outputs

  • Put 22ohm series resistor (close to processor) on the output clocks of the following modules: MMC, GPMC, McASP (both clock and frame sync), McSPI, QSPI
  • ensure these clock and frame sync signals, as well as I2C_CLK, have RXACTIVE=1 in the pinmux configuration. The signals are fed back to each peripheral in the device to retime read data, so the input must be enabled on these signals.

General Debug

  • output clocks CLKOUT1 and CLKOUT2 are present on terminals XDMA_EVENT_INTR0 and XDMA_EVENT_INTR1. If these are not used in your design, it is good to have test points on these signals to be able to monitor internal clocks.

Warm Reset

  1. The WARMRSTn pin (nRESETIN_OUT signal) is an open-drain signal and therefore requires an external pullup.
  2. If you're using nRESETIN_OUT as a bi-directional reset signal with a push-button, you may need a debounce circuit. Sometimes this is omitted in cases where the button is strictly for development purposes.
  3. nRESETIN_OUT is undefined during supply ramp. If your external devices require reset to be actively driven low during the entire power-up/down sequence, you can implement a circuit like the one shown in the TRM:



Take note in the datasheet that power rail VDDA1P8V_USB0 requires more decoupling capacitance than VDDA1P8V_USB1. This is because VDDA1P8V_USB0 powers the peripheral PLL in the device as well (See "DPLL Power Supply Connectivity" diagram in the datasheet). The VDDA1P8V_USB0 rail should also be filtered similar to other VDDS_PLL_XXX rails on the device.

Low Power considerations

If you are designing for low power, here are some tips to help you optimize your design for low power

  • On early prototype boards, it is recommended to include small shunt resistors in the voltage rail paths of each of the following rails of AM437x: VDD_MPU, VDD_CORE, VDDS_DDR, VDDS, VDDSHV1-11. (These are listed in order of priority. So if you can't add all of these, the most important ones are VDD_MPU, VDD_CORE, etc.) This will help you measure the power consumption of each rail and potentially pinpoint high power consumption during development. You may also want to add these shunt resistors for other devices power supplies to be able to measure power for key devices. The AM437x EVMs have examples of these shunt resistors.
  • For production, these shunt resistors should be removed from the design (i.e. turned into a continuous plane), especially for designs using Smart Reflex.
  • Any GPIO can be used as a wakeup source. GPIO0 module (GPIO0_0 to GPIO0_31) signals have lower latency wakeups, so if you have critical timing associated with wakeup, use GPIO0 signals for these wakeup sources.
  • For RTC+DDR operation (i.e. suspend/resume where the entire AM437x with the exception of RTC is fully powered off, but the DDR remains in self-refresh).
  • The DRAM's power needs to be separate from the AM437x power in order to allow the AM437x to be powered down while keeping the DDR in self refresh. The recommended approach is to use the TPS65218 where DCDC3 powers the DDR3 and is the input to load switch 1 (LS1). LS1 in turn powers the AM437x VDDS_DDR rail, and this power is cut during RTC+DDR mode.
  • During RTC+DDR operation, the DDR3 VREF must be maintained. However, the AM437x DDR_VREF pin cannot tolerate having a reference voltage applied. You correspondingly need to have independent VREF for the processor and the DDR3 IC's. The processor's VREF can be derived from its VDDS_DDR rail (e.g. TPS65218 LS1 output). The same could be done for the DDR3 from its rail. In the case of the AM437x EVM, the REFOUT of the TPS51200 was used since it remains powered independent of the EN pin.
  • DDR_RESETn needs a pullup resistor such that the DDR3 is not reset while the processor is powered off. The DDR_RESETn pin is fail-safe, meaning that it can tolerate this voltage despite the fact that VDDS_DDR is not powered.


  • If you do not need RTC-only mode and the RTC timer feature, you do not need to include a 32KHz crystal. The 32KHz reference can come from the high frequency clock. Leave the RTC_XTALIN/RTC_XTALOUT pins as NC. See RTC section for more details.
  • When using an external crystal, connect VSS_OSC to board ground.
  • It is preferable to always have bias and dampening resistors that can help tune the crystal later. See section 4.2 of the datasheet for more details.

General DDR guidelines

These guidelines are applicable for all DDR designs:

  • It is very important to follow the DDR routing guidelines for your DDR type in the AM437x datasheet. These guidelines are very important to ensure a proper DDR design.
  • Ensure resistor for DDR_VTP is a high precision resistor as specified in the datasheet. A 49.9ohm 1% resistor is less expensive than a 50ohm 2% resistor and can be used for the DDR_VTP pin for cost sensitive designs.
  • When using a resistor divider for DDR_VREF, ensure resistors are high precision resistors as specified in the datasheet
  • allow for adequate decoupling capacitors on the DDR power rails both at the AM437x as well as the DDR SDRAM device(s)
  • Low power applications implementing DeepSleep or RTC+DDR modes require a split DDR voltage supply to AM437x and the DDR memory. This is so the power to AM437x can be turned off while still maintaining power to the DDR memory. In these cases, DDR_VREF circuits should be separated. That is, two separate voltage dividers, one for AM437x (referenced to VDDS_DDR), and one for the memory (referenced to VDCDC3 from TPS65218).
  • All DDR topologies require AM43xx ODT and SDRAM ODT to be enabled by software. CTRL_EMIF_SDRAM_EXT.PHY_RD_LOCAL_ODT register controls the AM43xx side ODT, and EMIF4D_SDRAM_CONFIG (bit fields DDR_TERM and DYN_ODT) register bits control the SDRAM ODT side ODT.

DDR topologies and VTT

DDR Type Supported DDR Topology VTT
LPDDR2(1) 1x32 NA
LPDDR2(1) 2x16 balanced T NA
DDR3L/DDR3 2x16 fly-by Yes
DDR3L/DDR3 2x16 balanced T (2) No(2)
DDR3L/DDR3 1x16 Optional (3)
DDR3L/DDR3 4x8 fly-by Yes
DDR3L/DDR3 2x8 fly-by Yes
DDR3L/DDR3 2x8 balanced T (2) No(2)

(1) VTT termination is not necessary for LPDDR2 designs.
(2) Refer to TI Design DDR3 Reference Design without VTT termination using AM437x. No VTT can be implemented with this topology, however, careful PCB design along with 3D simulations must be performed to ensure proper signal integrity. Proper high speed design and layout techniques must be employed to ensure stable operation.
(3) This is a point-to-point topology which typically does not require termination. Ensure to follow datasheet layout guidelines.


  • DDR_VREF can be derived using a resistor divider with decoupling to both DDR supply and ground. Follow the recommendations as documented in the LPDDR2 Routing Guidelines of the data sheet.


  • VTT termination: Designs with point to point connections between AM437x and DDR3 (ie, one DDR3 device) typically do not need VTT termination. For multiple devices or multi-die packages, see table above. When employing VTT, be sure to include a termination regulator to properly terminate the clock/control signals. Check datasheet and/or reference schematics for proper connection. The TPS51200 is recommended.
  • Do not connect DDR_RESET or DDR_CKE to VTT termination resistors. These should be connected directly between AM437x and DDR.
  • Check datasheet for proper termination voltages. Termination for clock signals is VDDS_DDR (along with an AC coupling capacitor), whereas all other signals need to use VTT for the termination voltage. Check the datasheet for details.
  • If not using VTT, VREF should obtained using a resistor divider (10Kohm 1%) with capacitive decoupling to ground, and should be used as references for both CA and DQ pins on the memory, as well as the VREF signal on AM437x. Ensure resistor is a high precision (1%) resistor as specified in the datasheet. When not using VTT, be sure especially follow the routing guidelines in the datasheet.


  • include a 22ohm series resistor on MMCx_CLK (as close to the processor as possible). This signal is used as an input on read transactions and the resistor will eliminate possible signal reflections on the signal which can cause false clock transitions.
    • this also requires you to set RXACTIVE=1 in the pinmux configuration for the MMC_CLK signal.
    • When connecting a device (card or eMMC), include 10k pullups on RST#, CMD, and all DAT signals.

NoteNote: MMC1 has several pin-out options, but the boot ROM uses the pins gpmc_csn1, gpmc_csn2, and gpmc_ad[11:8] as listed in Table 5-33 "Pins Used for MMC1 Boot" of the TRM. Furthermore, these pins are not the same as what were used on AM335x, so pay special attention if you're migrating from AM335x.


  • pullups on both I2C signals (I2C_DATA and I2C_CLK) should be 4.7K. Ensure the pullups connect to the correct I/O voltage rail. See note on Pullups above.
  • if you are planning to use TI's software (Linux SDK), be sure to connect I2C0 to the PMIC, as this is the port used for PMIC control.

Display Subsystem (DSS)

  • Connection examples
    • When connecting only 16bit data to an 18-bit panel (BGR565 to BGR666), connect D0-D4 to B1-B5 on LCD, D5-D10 to G0-G5 on the LCD, and D11-D15 to R1-R5 on LCD. Then connect B0->B5, R0->R5. This allows full color spectrum with some degradation in gradients.
  • If migrating from AM335x, the color swapping errata of the AM335x is not applicable on AM437x. You may need to "unswap" your colors if that is the case.


  • typically the R/B# signal from the NAND is open drain and connected to the AM437x GPMC_WAIT signal. Be sure to include a 4.7K pullup to the appropriate voltage, depending if the NAND is 1.8V or 3.3V.


  • Check the product pages on each device for application notes specific for connecting the PMIC to AM437x. Also check the product data sheet for specific part numbers to be used for the AM437x

Power supply selection

All AM438x designs require the use of TPS65218 to support tamper module features.

AM437x designs can be powered by either a Power Management IC (PMIC) or a discrete power solution. The requirements for your design may dictate which solution you should use. Below details certain features that may impact your choice.

AM437x Feature PMIC (TPS65218) Discrete Power Solution
Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling (DVFS) Supported Not Supported (1)
Fixed OPP Operation for VDD_MPU Supported Supported (2)
DeepSleep Low Power mode Supported Supported (3)
RTC-only Low Power mode Supported (4) Supported (5)
RTC+ DDR Self-Refresh Suspend/Resume Low Power Mode Supported Not Supported
Simplified Power Sequencing utilizing only 3.3V IO for all VDDSHVx domains Not supported Supported (6)
Push-button, Integrated Supply supervisors, USB load switch (7) Supported Not Supported

(1) TI software offerings fully support MPU DVFS using TPS65218, but do not support any discrete power solutions
(2) Refer to application note Discrete Power Solution for AM437x for details. Also refer to AM43xx datasheet for Power-on-Hours (POH) implications, as maintaining some high OPP levels may decrease the product lifetime
(3) DeepSleep mode can be achieved with a discrete power solution, but voltage scaling during low power mode is not supported, which will impact power consumption
(4) Using TPS65218 will achieve the lowest power consumption in RTC-only mode as compared to the discrete power solution option, because this solution does not use internal RTC LDO of AM43xx
(5) Requires external power path and 1.8V regulator from coin cell/battery/super-cap. Higher power for RTC-only mode as compared to TPS65218 solution
(6) Refer to application note Discrete Power Solution for AM437x for more details
(7) These are specific features of the TPS65218 which would require extra circuitry or devices in a discrete power solution

General recommendations

  • ensure current capabilities of DCDC switchers and LDOs meet the maximum demand of all devices that are attached. You can find the maximum current draw of all AM437x I/O rails in the datasheet. If these rails from the PMIC also power other devices, the maximum current draw of these devices need to be taken into consideration as well.
  • ensure I2C0 is used for communication to PMIC. All TI software distributions (linux SDK) assumes the use of this interface with the PMIC.

Simplified Power Sequencing

  • Helps to ensure power up/down sequencing between bias voltage and IO voltage of of dual voltage IOs. Also, meets <2V differential requirement between bias voltage and IO voltage of dual voltage IOs.
  • Connect VDDS3P3V_IOLDO to the same power supply that is connected to the 3.3V VDDSHVx terminals.
  • Connect CAP_VDDS1P8V_IOLDO to VDDS and VDDS_CLKOUT. An capacitor to ground is also needed in accordance with the datasheet. CAP_VDDS1P8V_IOLDO is the output of the internal 1.8V LDO that will supply the bias voltage VDDS for the dual voltage IOs.
  • See AM437x Discrete Power Reference Design and Discrete Power Solution for AM437x for more details on implementing discrete power solution
  • When not using simplified power sequencing, VDDS3P3V_IOLDO should be grounded, and CAP_VDDS1P8V_IOLDO should be left floating
  • Note, the simplified power sequencing circuit should not be used when:
    • using the TPS65218 PMIC
    • the system requires the RTC feature
    • the system uses dual voltage IOs configured as 1.8V

Touchscreen with ADC0

  • recommend adding 0ohm resistor to VDDA_ADC in case you need to add a filter for noise on the ADC.
  • Check out the sampling voltage must not exceed the voltage of reference. Otherwise, it will affect the whole TSC_ADC system. (Ex: if you add pull up to 3.0V at the last four channel, this will lead to the abnormal work of the whole system, including the first four).


  • recommend single point connections from VSSA_ADC0 to ground and VSSA_ADC1 to ground as close to the device as possible.


  • Refer to the USB Layout Guidelines app note
  • The AM437x USB0_ID and USB1_ID terminals should never be connected to any external voltage source. These terminals should be open-circuit when the respective USB port is configured to operate in USB peripheral mode, or should be connected to ground when the respective USB port is configured to operate in USB host mode. Do not connect the ID terminal to a pull down resistor
  • for device operation, USB VBUS decoupling capacitance should be < 10uF.
  • for host operation, USB VBUS decoupling capacitance should be > 120uF
  • ensure the VBUS decoupling capacitance is connected close to USB connector.
  • USBx_DP and USB_DM should never have any series resistors or capacitance on these signals. These signals should be straight traces to the connector with no stubs or test points.
  • Typical connections for a USB peripheral:
    • USBx_DP and USBx_DM are connected directly to the USB connector
    • USBx_CE can be used if supporting charging. This generally would be connected to the enable of a charging source for the battery.
    • USBx_ID can be left unconnected
    • USBx_DRVVBUS is not used and can be left unconnected
    • USBx_VBUS should be connected directly to the VBUS pin on the USB connector
  • Typical connections for a USB host:
    • USBx_DP and USBx_DM are connected directly to the USB connector
    • USBx_CE is typically not used and can be left unconnected
    • USDx_ID should be grounded
    • USBx_DRVVBUS should be connected to the enable of the 5V VBUS power source.*
    • USBx_VBUS should be connected to the output of the 5V VBUS power source.*
      • *NOTE: For instances in which the port is a dedicated USB Host (no DRD, no Device Mode), it is permissible to hard-wire USBx_VBUS to the actual USB port 5V VBUS source and leave USBx_DRVVBUS floating.
  • Typical connections for a USB host with USB hub:
    • USBx_DP and USBx_DM are connected directly to the USB hub upstream port. The hub then distributes these signals to the downstream ports as needed.
    • USBx_CE is typically not used and can be left unconnected
    • USDx_ID should be grounded to enable host mode.
    • USBx_DRVVBUS should be connected to the enable of the 5V VBUS power source.
    • USBx_VBUS should be connected to the output of the 5V VBUS power source. It is also connected to the VBUS detect on the hub (typically through a resistor divider), which then allows the hub to selectively enable/disable typically through a power switch to each downstream port.


  • no series resistors are required for MII signals.
  • when choosing boot strapping options for the Ethernet PHY, be sure to exclude support for 1Gbit, half-duplex. The AM437x Ethernet Controller does not support 1Gbit, half-duplex. If this is enabled in the Ethernet PHY, a link may be established at 1Gbit, half-duplex, which will prevent Ethernet boot from operating properly (BOOTP will not be transmitted).


The following table describes what to do with each pin related to RTC functionality. Three use case scenarios are provided:

  • RTC-only mode: If you will be using the low power RTC-only mode. This use case allows low power operation of the AM437x by allowing only the RTC power supply to be ON while all the remaining supplies are OFF.
  • RTC timer functionality but no RTC-only mode: If you will be using the RTC feature but do not need RTC-only mode. This use case allows you to use the Real Time clocking features (eg, keeping time), but you do not need to support the low power RTC-only mode.
  • RTC feature disabled: If you will never use the RTC features. In this use case, the RTC functions are fully disabled.
Pin Function RTC-only mode RTC timer functionality
but no RTC-only mode
RTC feature disabled
VDDS_RTC 1.8 V power supply Always on RTC 1.8 V power supply any AM437x 1.8 V power supply(3) any AM437x 1.8 V power supply(3)
CAP_VDD_RTC RTC core voltage input/LDO output(1) 1 uF decoupling capacitor to VSS VDD_CORE(4) VDD_CORE(4)
RTC_PWRONRSTn RTC power on reset input 1.8 V RTC power on reset(2) 1.8 V PWRONRSTn (5) VSS
PMIC_POWER_EN PMIC power enable output PMIC power enable input No Connect No Connect
RTC_WAKEUP External wakeup input 1.8 V wakeup event signal VSS VSS
Datasheet power up sequencing Figure 4-1, 2, 3 Figure 4-4 Figure 4-5


  1. The CAP_VDD_RTC terminal operates as an input to the RTC core voltage domain when the internal RTC LDO is disabled by connecting the RTC_KALDO_ENn terminal to VDDS_RTC.
  2. If the internal RTC LDO is disabled,CAP_VDD_RTC should be sourced from an external 1.1-V power supply.
  3. RTC_PWRONRSTn should be asserted for at least 1ms for internal RTC LDO output voltage stabilized when internal RTC LDO is enabled.
  4. VDDS_RTC can be ramped independent of other power supplies if PMIC_POWER_EN functionality is not required. If VDDS_RTC is ramped after VDD_CORE, there might be a small amount of additional leakage current on VDD_CORE.
  5. RTC_PWRONRSTn high level must be 1.8V.  It cannot be 3.3V.  If tied together with PWRONRSTn, both reset inputs high level must be 1.8V
  6. If using an external LVCMOS input for the 32 kHz clock it must be 1.8V amplitude since this pin is related to VDDS_RTC.


This section is discussing the following pins:

  • xdma_event_intr0
  • xdma_event_intr1
  • xdma_event_intr2
  • xdma_event_intr3
  • xdma_event_intr4
  • xdma_event_intr5
  • xdma_event_intr6
  • xdma_event_intr7
  • xdma_event_intr8

A few notes:

  1. These signals are all active high inputs. The polarity is fixed, so any adjustments must be made at the board level, e.g. inverter, etc.
  2. All 9 signals are connected to the Cortex A9 interrupt controller.
  3. Only xdma_event_intr[5:0] are connected to the EDMA. The signals xdma_event_intr[8:6] cannot be used to generate an EDMA event.
  4. Note that xdma_event_intr2 (ball R25) has an internal pullup active by default after reset. Since these are active high signals, caution should be exercised if using this specific pin.
    • One option might be to use another pin for xdma_event_intr2 since it is muxed to A16 and G24 as well.
    • Another option is to use an external pulldown to override the internal pullup.