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About KiCad

KiCad is an open source software suite for Electronic Design Automation (EDA). The programs handle Schematic Capture, and PCB Layout with Gerber and IPC-2581 output. The suite runs on Windows, Linux and macOS and is licensed under GNU GPL v3.

Mission Statement

The goal of the KiCad project is to provide the best possible cross platform electronics design application for professional electronics designers. Every effort is made to hide the complexity of advanced design features so that KiCad remains approachable by new and inexperienced users, but when determining the direction of the project and the priority of new features, the needs of professional users take precedence.

Project Governance

The KiCad project is governed by a technical committee made up of the members of the lead development team. Most decisions are made by a consensus of the technical committee. When a consensus cannot be reached the final decision is made by the project leader.


KiCad was first released in 1992 by its original author, Jean-Pierre Charras. It has been in continual development since then and is now managed by the KiCad Development 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, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2024 FOSDEM presentations.

Lead Developers

Roberto Fernandez Bautista

John Beard

Jean-Pierre Charras

Fabien Corona

Jon Evans

Seth Hillbrand

Ian McInerney

Thomas Pointhuber

Mark Roszko

Aleksandr Shvartzkop

Wayne Stambaugh (Project Leader)

Mike Williams

Tomasz Wlostowski

Jeff Young


Geries AbuAkel

John Beard

Jeremy Boynes

Greg Cormier

Jan Sebastian Götte

Petr Hodina

Mikkel Jeppesen

Aristeidis Kimirtzis

Brandon Kirisaki

Uli Köhler

Andrew Lutsenko

Jorge Neiva

Valentin Ochs

Carlos Nieves Ónega

Dash Peters

Carsten Presser (Lead Librarian)

Armin Schoisswohl

Kliment Yanev


Steven Falco

Johannes Maibaum

Jean-Samuel Reynaud

Bernhard Stegmaier

Adam Wolf

Nick Østergaard

Technical Writers

Graham Keeth

Developers Emeriti

Dick Hollenbeck

Alexis Lockwood

Brian Sidebotham

Orson (Maciej) Sumiński

Mikolaj Wielgus

Librarians Emeriti

Christian Schlüter

Rene Poeschl