FOSDEM 2015 Schedule – January 31 – February 1 2015

FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting) takes place every year during the first week-end of February. This year the developer-oriented event expects to bring over 5000 geeks to share ideas and collaborate on open source projects. Contrary to most other events, it’s free to attend, and you don’t even need to register, just show up. FOSDEM 2015 will take place on January 31- February 1 in Brussels. There will be 551 sessions divided into 5 keynotes, 40 lightning talks, 6 certification exams, and with the bulk being developer rooms and main tracks,  divided into 7 main tracks this year: Languages, Performance, Time, Typesetting, Hardware, Security and Miscellaneous. I’m not going to attend, but it’s still interested to see what will be talked about, and I’ve concocted my own little virtual program out of the main tracks and developers’ rooms. There’s a few minutes overlap between some talks […]

EasyEDA is a Web-based Schematics Capture, Simulation, and PCB Layout Tool

I recently watched a video showing AllWinner R&D, and I noticed although most (all?) software engineer run Ubuntu in the PC, the hardware engineers all relied on Windows based EDA tools for schematics capture and PCB Layout. There are already Linux-based tools such as Kicad, which appears to be good for new projects, but importing existing projects can be an issue. An alternative to operating system dependent EDA software suites are web-based tools. I’ve already tried Fritzing which allows to draw circuits on breadboard, convert these to schematics and PCB layouts, and order the PCBs. It looks pretty good for its purpose, but it’s limited to mostly simple designs, and AFAIK can’t be used to replace an EDA suite. That’s where EasyEDA comes into play.  It’s a web-based tool where you can draw schematics, perform simulation, and create PCB layouts for your project, either keeping them private, or sharing them […]

Open Hardware System on Module Project

“JM” has started working on a system-on-module project with the goal “to create a whole range of SoM boards and motherboards that can handle a large number of embedded projects”.  He has just released schematics and layout files created with Kicad for a dual NXP LPC1764 SO-DIMM module and the baseboard under GPL3 license.  The next goal is to release an AllWinner A10 SoM and corresponding baseboard. Kicad is an open source schematics capture and PCB layout software that can run in Windows, Linux and Mac. If you want to read the schematics or try it out, you can freely download it. In Ubuntu you could just use apt-get:

The hardware files for the module and carrier board are available here. JM explains that the LPC module and baseboard have already been manufactured and tested, so it could just be a matter of adapting the module for AllWinner A10/A20. […]

Schematics Capture and PCB Layout in Linux with Kicad

kicad_schematics_eeschema

Most schematics capture and PCB layout software run on Windows and are closed source. But if your favorite OS is Linux, there are a few open source software including Kicad and gEDA. There is also Cadsoft Eagle which can be installed in Linux with a free license for hobbyists and educational purposes, but is not open source. Today, I’ll focus on Kicad. I don’t really capture schematics, let alone layout PCBs, but I sometimes need to use this type of software to locate pins/components on the schematics and PCB and check some parts of the schematics that can affect  software. So I will mainly give an overview of Kicad and write my experience trying to import another project (Beagleboard XM) to Kicad. If you want to learn how to get started with your own project with Kicad, you might want to have a look at Teho Labs Kicad Tutorial. In […]

ASUS Tinker board - Raspberry Pi alternative