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Last month (June 2016), Autodesk officially acquired Cadsoft Computer GmbH from Premier Farnell, giving them ownership of the popular EAGLE PCB design software. In an interview originally posted in the element14 Design Centre, Autodesk Director Matt Berggren set out his vision for the future, including some exciting developments on the horizon for Cadsoft and EAGLE users.


One development that may be of interest to STEM members is the announcement that Autodesk would be dropping the cost of EAGLE licences to $0 for non-commercial educational applications. This means if you're a student, teacher or professor at an approved university or school, you're entitled to a free copy of EAGLE, featuring schematic, layout, auto router, 160x100mm Routing Area, 99 schematic sheets  and an increased number of six  signal layers.


"These days... students are designing more with wireless" explains Berggren. "This means you'll want a plane layer to match impedance and make those trace width more manageable. Likewise if you're building anything with big memory requirements - such as embedded linux - then you may end up with DDR and again, impedance controls, microstrips, striplines etc. All of which generally require an internal plane layer to get the job done."


Other improvements on the way to the EAGLE software platform include real-time DRC, intelligent interactive routing, better BOM handling with an interface to a wide range of suppliers & manufacturers, a tighter interface to mechanical design tools, library improvements and more. To find out more, visit the relaunched Cadsoft website, where you can place an order for a free Educational EAGLE licence using a valid .edu email address.


You can read Autodesk Director Matt Berggren's full statement on the purchase here.