In line with one of CERN’s key philosophies of promoting open access to information, KiCad is an important tool for designing open-source hardware, allowing designers to share their work and increase their business in the most efficient way.

A Free and Open Source Software PCB design tool, KiCad runs on the computer operating systems GNU/Linux, Windows and Apple OS X, and it is licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL).

The objective of its development is to enhance its functionality, making it an efficient tool for PCB design, which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. This will ensure that there are no artificial barriers to the sharing of information, so that design and development knowledge can flow more freely.

Benefitting from a wide community of users that actively contributes time and money to its development, KiCad gives back not only to Open Hardware designers themselves, but also to students and academic institutions. Thanks to KiCad development, students are able to use professional-quality PCB design tools free from constraints imposed by cost, functionality or intellectual property restrictions. They will also be able to contribute to further improving the tool for the benefit of others, even outside of regular lecture times, an activity with a high educational value in itself and which will increase their employment potential.