At the Octave conference in Geneva the presentation Support of free software in public institutions: the KiCad case will be given by Javier Serrano and Tomasz Wlostowski from CERN.
KiCad is a tool to help electronics designers develop Printed Circuit Boards (PCB). CERN's BE-CO-HT section has been contributing to its development since 2011. These efforts are framed in the context of CERN's activities regarding Open Source Hardware (OSHW), and are meant to provide an environment where design files for electronics can be shared in an efficient way, without the hurdles imposed by the use of proprietary formats.
The talk will start by providing some context about OSHW and the importance of using Free Software tools for sharing design files. We will then move on to a short KiCad tutorial, and finish with some considerations about the role public institutions can play in developing and fostering the use of Free Software, and whether some of the KiCad experience can apply in other contexts.
In his message KiCad: A commitment to freedom, Javier Serrano thanks the KiCad supporters for their generous donations through the CERN & Society Foundation.
Our colleagues Maciej Sumiński (Orson) and Tomasz Włostowski recently submitted a proposal in the KiCad dev mailing list to integrate SPICE simulation into KiCad, using ngspice as a shared library. The demo video can be seen here.
For sometime now, KiCad has stayed in the feature freeze state. It means that instead of adding new features, we chose to focus on resolving problems that surfaced during thorough tests, performed by the vast KiCad community.
Thank you all, your help in this regard is very appreciated!
Javier D. Garcia-Lasheras, Open Science Activist wrote the EETimes article KiCad: CERN's Contribution to Free/Open PCB Design:
The hardware fraternity at CERN believes that KiCad can do to PCB design what the GCC compiler did to software, letting design and development knowledge flow more freely in the open hardware community.
In order to achieve this goal, CERN is actively working on a set of work packages targeted to bring KiCad up to par with the features of the proprietary PCB tools required for designing complex multilayer and high-density boards.
Read the full article KiCad: CERN's Contribution to Free/Open PCB Design
Arduino and many other projects share a similar philosophy of creating free open source tools allowing more people to work with hardware and software. Arduino is based on the contribution of many other open source projects and supports several efforts in the form of donations. One of the projects Arduino supports is the KiCad development project.
For more info see the blog Arduino donations and values for a growing ecosystem based on open source.
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