About KiCad

KiCad is an open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The programs handle Schematic Capture, and PCB Layout with Gerber output. The suite runs on Windows, Linux and macOS and is licensed under GNU GPL v3.


The first release date was in 1992 by its original author, Jean-Pierre Charras, but is now currently under development by the KiCad Developers Team.

The name of KiCad comes from the first letters of a company of Jean-Pierre Charras' friend "Ki" being combined with "Cad". But it now has no meaning other than being the name of the software suite. Mentioned by Jean-Pierre in an email.

More KiCad history, general information, and advancements can be found in Wayne’s 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 FOSDEM presentations.

Main Authors

Name Email

Jean-Pierre Charras


Dick Hollenbeck


Wayne Stambaugh (Project Leader)


Corporate Supporters

University of Grenoble and GIPSA-lab

This is the university where Jean-Pierre Charras, the original author of KiCad, worked as a teacher before his retirement. They provided hosting for the releases of KiCad, giving us a large amount of bandwidth for the large downloads.

Jean-Pierre has also been able to invest large amounts of time into developing KiCad.


SoftPLC, Dick Hollenbeck’s employer, sponsored him to improve KiCad’s functionality immensely which resulted in an extremely intesive and prolific era for KiCad in which Dick committed an extremely generous amount of work.

SoftPLC sponsored Dick to the equivalent of 450,000USD for the time he spent working on KiCad.


Employer of Javier Serrano, Maciej Suminski and Tomasz Wlostowski who all work heavily on KiCad.

CERN has already contributed greatly to KiCad, and have already advanced the Graphics Abstraction Layer and introduced Push and Shove router capabilities.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation

Donated to the CERN and Society Foundation for the development of KiCad’s differential pair routing and track length control features.

Arduino LLC

Donated to the CERN and Society Foundation to support CERN’s efforts in Open Source Hardware.


Hosting provider for some of the servers used on the Jenkins CI.

Digi-Key Electronics

Digi-Key Electronics purchased the kicad.org domain name, which was being used by its previous owner to serve malware, and redirected it to the main KiCad website at kicad-pcb.org.


AISLER believes that a PCB Design Tool like KiCad should participate financially when a customer let’s that design become a reality. That is why AISLER allows its users to easily donate to the KiCad project during the ordering process.

Tech Explorations

Tech Explorations is a technology education company for Makers, STEM educators, and students. Peter Dalmaris, the company co-founder recently wrote and published “KiCad Like a Pro, 2nd edition” which donates 50% of the book sale profits to the KiCad project.


NextPCB has donated to KiCad and is dedicated to one stop solutions for PCB prototyping, small batch and mass production, selling and sourcing of electronic components, SMT and PCB assembly.


System76 manufactures powerful Linux laptops, desktops, and servers for the creators, builders, and innovators of tomorrow. Because our computers are powered by open source software, customers instantly have access to a plethora of free software and tools. We’re proud to support KiCad’s open source project, via our financial support through the CERN and Society Foundation.