Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Eagle CAD versions

CadSoft recently released version 5.8 of their EagleCAD schematic and layout software.  They have a free version that is limited, but popular with hardware hobbiests.  Now they also have a "Freemium" version that is less limited, yet, too limited.

Here are the basic versions of EagleCAD.  Most hobbiests go for the Freeware version.  You can do a lot in one schematic page, and a 2-layer 100x80mm board.

Version Schem pages PCB Layers PCB Size (mm) Price
Freeware 1 2 100x80 Free for not-for-profit use
Light 1 2 100x80 $49
Freemium 4 4 100x80 60-day Free trial
Standard 99 6 160x100 $747 ($498 w/o autorouter)
Standard Not-for-Profit 99 6 160x100 $125

The Freemium would be nice to have, with the extra room on four schematic pages.  4 layer boards are more expensive than two, but useful if you are doing high speed or dense board design. With four pages to play on, the 100x80 board space might become an issue.

The trouble is that once your 60 day free trial is over, you have to either drop to the Freeware/Light version, or move up to the Standard version.  There is no non-free, unlimited use version of the Freemium version.

But, for complex hobbiest projects, there is an option of getting the Standard version for $125 if you promise to use it only for "not for profit" use.

If there was a not-for-profit Freemium version for $49, I'd buy it.

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