CERN BE-CO-HT Contribution to KiCad

This project has been set up to facilitate the contribution of CERN's BE-CO-HT section to the KiCad Printed Circuit Board design tool development. KiCad is a Free/Libre Open Source Software Tool which runs on GNU/Linux, Windows and Apple OS X. It is licensed under the GPL license.
The objective of this project is to help enhance KiCad in such a way that it becomes an efficient tool for PCB design which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. We do this in close collaboration with the main KiCad developers.

We think that KiCad can do to PCB design what the gcc compiler did to software: ensure there are no artificial barriers to sharing so that design and development knowledge can flow more freely.

This contribution is part of our efforts in Open Source Hardware. We describe our planned tasks and their progress using a list of work packages. Contributions to KiCad will happen through the KiCad developers mailing list, in the standard ways defined by the main KiCad developers.

Pcbnew snapshot (White Rabbit switch PCB)
KiCad PCB layout snapshot

Detailed project information

Want to help?

If you would like to offer a bit of your spare time to help us improving KiCad, below you can find links listing our goals for the next release.
If you need any help, do not hesitate to contact us - we will gladly introduce you to the source code.


Please visit the CERN and Society donations page ( if you would like to help us contribute more and faster. See the CERN and Society Donor Recognition pages.



Date Event
11-04-2013 Project announced in the KiCad developers mailing list.
11-04-2013 Maciej Sumiński submits a preliminary version of the View component to the KiCad developers list.
09-07-2013 Maciej Sumiński submits a second release of the View component for testing purposes.
02-08-2013 Tomasz Włostowski submits the Tool Framework technical description.
28-08-2013 The View component is available to run & build on the 3 major platforms (Linux, Windows & Mac OS X).
19-09-2013 Tomasz Włostowski publishes source code of the first version of the Push&Shove router.
30-10-2013 The CERN testing branch (Graphics Abstraction Layer, Tool Framework and Push&Shove router) is merged to the KiCad master branch.
25-11-2013 Ratsnest for the Graphics Abstraction Layer is released for testing.
19-12-2013 The Selection Tool improvements, part 1.
07-02-2014 The Selection Tool improvements, part 2.
08-03-2014 The branch containing drawing tools for the GAL is released for testing.
14-05-2014 Tomasz Włostowski releases a new version of the Interactive Push and Shove router. It is already merged in the official product branch.
26-06-2014 Module editor upgrade is released for testing.
18-09-2014 Tomasz Włostowski starts working on the Push and Shove router improvements: track length tuning tool & differential pair router.
09-03-2015 Tomasz Włostowski published Kicad - Differential pair routing and trace length matching.
12-09-2015 As a part of preparations for stable release, RC1 version was published.
08-11-2015 RC2 version is available for testing.
29-11-2015 KiCad 4.0.0 stable is released.
28-02-2016 KiCad 4.0.2 stable is released.
14-04-2016 OpenGL canvas renders text using bitmap fonts.
21-07-2016 KiCad integrates a circuit simulator interface based on ngspice.
29-10-2016 KiCad hackathon during the first e-HAL event in Sao Paulo, Brazil [contents in Portuguese].
24-03-2017 Modified the zone classes to take advantage of a new improved geometry library.
28-03-2017 First meeting with CERN design office about pilot test.

28 March 2017

kicad_pcbnew.png - Pcbnew snapshot (taken from (270 kB) Javier Serrano, 2013-02-05 17:45

kicad_pcbnew_small.png - 640 pixels wide (223.5 kB) Javier Serrano, 2013-02-05 17:56

pcbnew_thumb.png - Pcbnew snapshot (White Rabbit switch PCB) (299.1 kB) Maciej Sumiński, 2014-06-30 10:07