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Arduino donations and values for a growing ecosystem based on open source

Zoe RomanoJune 10th, 2013

open source

Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Arduino and many other projects share a similar philosophy of creating free open source tools allowing non-technical people to work with hardware and software.

Arduino is based on the contribution of many other open source projects. We are grateful to these efforts and want to support them. Since we’re not always able to contribute code or technical support we want to do it through donations.

From now on every year Arduino will donate to the open source projects it collaborates with and shares Arduino approach and philosophy.

In 2013 the institutions to which Arduino donated 2,500$ each are the following:

  • Processing is an open source programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) built for the electronic arts, new media art, and visual design communities with the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of computer programming in a visual context. The project was initiated in 2001 by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry.

The Arduino IDE is derived from the Processing IDE.

  • The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.

The foundation has created the licenses used by Arduino and created the GCC compiler which is used as a compiler for the Arduino code.

  • Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

Both the Arduino hardware reference designs and documentation are distributed under a Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5.

  • Fritzing is an open-source hardware initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics: a software tool, a community website and services in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, fostering an ecosystem that allows users to document their prototypes and share them with others.

Fritzing is used for illustrations in Arduino documentation.

  • PmWiki is a wiki-based system for collaborative creation and maintenance of websites originally developed by Patrick R. Michaud.

PmWiki is the Arduino official wiki since 2004.

  • Linux foundation promotes, protects and advances Linux by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source development community to ensure Linux remains free and technically advanced.

Arduino has always been a fan of Linux and many users of Arduino use Linux. Furthermore, the new Arduino Yún is the first member of a family of wifi products combining the power Linux with ease of use of Arduino.

And finally,

  • CERN for the improvement of KiCad. Kicad is a free and open source software PCB design tool. The objective of this development project is to enhance Kicad to make it an efficient tool for PCB design, which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. This contribution is part of CERN’s broader efforts in Open Source Hardware.


This is just a first small step towards more contributions to keep the open source ecosystem growing, in the coming years the amount we will devote to donations will keep increasing based on our revenues.

We hope more companies that are involved in Open Source Hardware and Software will follow our example.