Is it time to use KiCad 7?


I’ve been using KiCad a lot since version 6 was released. A few months ago I surveyed comments on version 7 and decided that I should wait to switch over. I notice that version 7 is the default in the app store for Ubuntu 23.10. I am just starting to work on a more complicated board with PCIe edge connector, differential routing and a BGA component.

Is Version 7 stable now? Will I get advantages from using version 7 on a board like this?

Opinions welcome.

Yes, the current version 7.0.10 has had a year of improvements and is solid now imho. I started using it last January to get into the database functionality (which was a very useful feature for me). The early releases in the year have some bugs to work out, and later in the year it gets more stable, but I can’t say I had any major issues with the early 7.0.x releases and I was using it pretty heavily last year.

The new 8.0.x will be out soon (might be already). This year I think I will stay with 7 until perhaps summer.

Kicad gets more awesome every year!

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V7 probably passed V6 in stability and bug count in late spring. Basically bugs fixed in V7 that are also present in V6 don’t get backported.
Differential routing and length tuning got some serious attention in V7.

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No. It’s time to use kicad 8 :laughing:


Two version jumps can be hard.

you are late to the party :slight_smile:

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I will try moving one or two of my project over to V7 and see how it goes. I want to get access to any differential routing and length matching features. I’ve never had a problem with stability in 6.0 but if 7.0 is equal or better, that sounds good.

…can be but it shouldn’t. If the migration process is well done, it should be possible to open an old KiCad4 layout even with KiCad12! Redoing it from paper prints would be quite painfull.

The issue is not whether KiCad can still open files from an older version (It can), but that KiCad’s GUI has changed quite a lot and when you skip a few versions it takes some time to get used to the changes. The Post V6 has 86 entries, and the Post V7 thread has 41 new feature announcements. If your previous version was V5 or older, then also all the icons would be different.

The point is, of course I will not keep working with KiCad4 over decades but if I have a 15 year old project I need to modify, I still can do it with the actual version. Certainly I will enjoy the new features and (hopefully) changes in the UI :smiley:

Also consider availability of tutorials - it will be a while before there is much V8 related out there.
You can be pretty confident that any problems found with V7.0.10 at this time are in front of the keyboard

OK, I gave V7 a try on a board that has a BGA package and differential routes. The differential routing feature works better than in V6. I also tried the BGA fanout plugin and it works fine in V7. Good work KiCad Team. I am switching over to V7 for all KiCad work.

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In 2…3 months I will be switching to V8 for all KiCad work :slight_smile:

When KiCad V7 was released, there were a bunch of (slightly) annoying bugs, but those get fixed quite quickly. If stability is a very big concern (such as people using KiCad for their job) it is probably good to wait a few months. There is not much reason to wait longer with updating. KiCad is being developed very actively, and each month around 200 to 300 issues get both created and fixed again on gitlab. Bug fix releases (increments in third number of the KiCad version number) get released every 6 weeks on average and often have 100 bugs fixed after a mayor version, and this seems to slowly taper of to around 60 bugs near the end of the next release.

I started using KiCad-Nightly V7.99 a few weeks ago for a small project, and the Interactive router “feels” even better then in KiCad V7.0.x. I have not yet used many of the new features yet.

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