Linux Foundation Hosts KiCad

November 25, 2019

The Linux Foundation will host KiCad, a free, open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The program facilitates the design of schematics for electronic circuits and their conversion to Printed Circuit Board (PCB) designs. Under the Linux Foundation, KiCad will expand its community and ensure long-term sustainability.

“KiCad is a set of applications used by engineers focused on board design,” said Michael Dolan, VP of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. “It’s a professional and free piece of software that gives engineers the freedom to use the software anywhere and across any platform, not tying them to specific hardware architectures. Its progress in creating an integrated environment for schematic capture and PCB layout design has been massive and the Linux Foundation’s infrastructure and governance model will give it the required support to sustain that growth for the long term.”

“We’ve seen the program skyrocket in use over recent years, with some board vendors reporting more than 15 percent of new board orders designed using KiCad,” said Wayne Stambaugh, KiCad Project Lead. “To accommodate this rate of growth there was a need to re-evaluate our revenue support model to help us attract more people to the project. Under the Linux Foundation we will have increased flexibility to spend donations to help move the project forward as well as an increased exposure to potential new donors.”

This project is also participating in the CommunityBridge platform, created earlier this year by the Linux Foundation to empower open source developers – and the individuals and organizations who support them – to advance sustainability, security, and diversity in open source technology.

KiCad was launched in 1992 and today has corporate, community, and individual donors including Digi- Key, System76, AISLER and NextPCB, with many donating through CERN. The main tools that exist within the package are used to create schematics, printed circuit board layouts, spice simulations, bill of materials, artwork, Gerber files, and 3D views of the PCB and its components. KiCad is a cross platform tool, running on Windows, Linux, and Apple MacOS and is released under the open source GNU GPL.

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