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Professional engineers and hobbyists will increase reliance on open source hardware and software in 2013, according to element14 study
Study unveils high level of crossover between hobbyists and professional engineers in use of dev kits and open source hardware and software
The use of open source hardware and software will continue to grow among both professional engineers and the hobbyist community in 2013, according to the results of a new survey from element14.
Among the surveys key findings:
* More than half (56%) of professional engineers are more likely to use open source hardware such as Arduino and BeagleBone in 2013. Among hobbyists, that figure jumps to 82%.
* 52% of professional engineers and 81% of hobbyists report being more likely to use open source software in 2013.
* More than half (54%) of hobbyists report using dev kits at least once per quarter for personal projects.
The numbers paint a very clear picture that open source hardware is showing strong traction among professional engineers and hobbyists as well as educators and students, said Andrea Koritala, global head of technology integration at Premier Farnell. With a high level of crossover between professionals and hobbyists, this increase in adoption extends to the workplace. An engineer on the job is looking for access to many of the same tools and resources accessible to the hobbyist community.
Professional engineers rated reference designs as the resource that weighs most heavily in the decision to select a dev kit. Among hobbyists, the most important factor was the availability of online tutorials, webinars and videos.
This trend also speaks to the importance of ease of access and use, as a strong community can help bring ideas and designs to life, Koritala said. Engineers have historically been hesitant to fully embrace open source, but the sheer availability of open-source tools and resources has mitigated many of the risks associated with designing in open source for commercial use.
The survey, conducted in April 2013, included responses from a mix of professional engineers, hobbyists and students. All respondents had purchased one or more dev kits or related products in the year prior to taking the survey.
About Farnell element14
Farnell element14 is a high-service distributor of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Bringing together the latest products, services, and development software, all connected to an innovative online engineering community where purchasers and engineers can access peers and experts, a wide range of independent technical information and helpful tools. Whether researching a new technology, designing an electronic product, or looking for parts to repair an existing system, Farnell is the trusted source to find the answers and parts you need to keep your project on the fast track, right from the start.
Farnell element14 is the operating business of Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) in Europe.
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