atopile - a new language to design electronic circuit boards with code

We are bringing design reuse, version control, and automation to hardware design

Hi Everyone, we are Matt, Narayan, and Tim and we are building a new programming language to automate hardware design.

TLDR; atopile is a new language + toolchain to design electronic circuit boards with code.

By using code instead of graphical user interfaces, we finally bring design reuse, version control, and automation to hardware design.

Our ask 📣

  • If you love programming, git, and electronics, try using atopile to design your next circuit board
  • If you know firmware engineers, test teams, validation teams or people who need to create lots of high-quality repetitive designs quickly - please introduce us.

The problem

We love designing hardware. But existing design tools are slowing us down. The key reason is that in hardware design, everything is done manually: Electronic schematics are drawn by hand, files are exported through a series of clicks, and circuit boards are validated for weeks on the test bench. When systems become complex, this process becomes hugely time-consuming and error-prone.

Imagine writing an entire complex software program using only assembly code. This is what designing hardware feels like today.

The solution

atopile is a new programming language to describe electronics with code. Instead of drawing the product itself, you can now capture your product requirements using atopile source code. From there, our compiler builds and validates the product manufacturing files for you. Not only is this faster and more reliable but it also lets you use advanced software development tools such as code editors, git, GitHub, GitLab, Continuous Integration, and copilot to design hardware.

After launching on Hacker News and getting hundreds of downloads, we have seen a glimpse of an exciting future: our users have created new designs in atopile, used GitHub for version control, shared their work on our Package Manager, and used Continuous Integration to generate their manufacturing files automatically. Our most active users have also made contributions to our codebase, which we are super thankful for!

Early on, we decided to make atopile open-core. Our goal is to create a new industry standard for describing hardware. With an open-core approach, our users have guaranteed access to their code. Our plan is to generate revenue with enterprise-targeted features, in a model similar to GitLab.

Our code is on GitHub here and we have up-to-date docs here.

Who we are

Matt, Narayan, and Tim are life-long inventors, engineers, and now second-time founders. We have been engineers at companies including Tesla, DJI, and Lilium. We’ve worked on teams including the 25-guns, created prototyping facilities under executive mandate, and led critical software projects where the daily cost-of-delay ran into the millions.

The three of us met as we were building up a maker space in the Bay Area. After a few discussions, we quickly started putting together a prototype of the atopile compiler. We knew this had the potential to change hardware design after we compiled our first electronic printed circuit board.

✉️ We are excited for the adventure ahead! Please email us at founders@atopile.io to get in touch.