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This chapter is from the book

1.3 Licensing

When you first launch EAGLE, a dialog appears and gives you the option of providing a license key or running the tool as freeware. The Freeware option enables you to run EAGLE in a special configuration called the Freeware version of EAGLE Light. This enables you to access EAGLE’s editing and routing for free, but with a limited set of features. In addition, this version can be used only for evaluation or nonprofit purposes. If you intend to make money through your PCB design, CadSoft asks that you purchase a license.

EAGLE provides four types of licenses that appeal to different segments of the PCB design community. Each has a different price and set of features (the higher the price, the more features). Specifically, the license type determines the maximum number of schematic sheets, the maximum number of board layers, and the maximum routing area. Table 1.1 lists the characteristics of the different licenses.

Table 1.1 EAGLE License Features

License

Number of Sheets

Number of Layers

Routing Area in mm2

Light

1

2

100 x 80

Hobbyist

99

6

160 x 100

Standard

99

6

160 x 100

Professional

999

16

4000 x 4000

Looking at this table, you may wonder what the difference is between the Hobbyist and Standard licenses. The Hobbyist license is much, much less expensive but carries the requirement that EAGLE can be used only for noncommerical purposes. CadSoft requires a signed statement to this effect.

Table 1.1 doesn’t list the prices for these licenses for three reasons:

  1. EAGLE’s prices change over time and any listed price will prove inaccurate in the near future.
  2. For the Standard and Professional licenses, CadSoft doesn’t sell EAGLE as an integrated application. Instead, it splits EAGLE into three parts (schematic editor, autorouter, and board editor), and sells them separately.
  3. For the Standard and Professional licenses, pricing depends on how many users can use the tool at once.

For a full presentation of the EAGLE pricing structure, visit the CadSoft web site. For prices in American dollars, the link is http://www.cadsoftusa.com/shop/pricing/?language=en.

In writing this book, I have made no assumptions regarding which license readers have purchased or if any license has been purchased at all. But this book covers every aspect of EAGLE, so if one or more features are unavailable in your installation, skip over the corresponding material. The first and second example circuits can be designed with any of the licenses, but the final design (discussed in Chapters 14, “Schematic Design for the BeagleBone Black,” and 15, “Board Design for the BeagleBone Black”) requires more advanced capabilities.

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