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$199.99 Digital Discovery from Digilent implements 800Msample/sec logic analyzer, pattern generator. Powered by Spartan-6

by Xilinx Employee on ‎03-17-2017 12:26 PM (2,126 Views)

 

Digilent says that its new $199.99 Digital Discovery—a low-cost USB instrument that combines a 24-channel, 800Msamples/sec logic analyzer; a 16-bit, 100Msamples/sec digital pattern generator; and a 100mA power supply—“was created to be the ultimate embedded development companion.” Further, “Its features and specifications were deliberately chosen to maintain a small and portable form factor, withstand use in a variety of environments, and keep costs down, while balancing the requirements of operating on USB Power.”

 

(Note: Skip to the bottom of this blog for a limited-time offer. Then come back.)

 

Here’s a photo of the Digital Discovery:

 

 

Digilent Digital Discovery Module.jpg

 

Digilent’s Digital Discovery—a combined 24-channel, 800Msamples/sec logic analyzer and 16-bit, 100Msamples/sec digital pattern generator

 

 

If that form factor looks familiar, you’re probably reminded of the company’s Analog Discovery and Analog Discovery 2 100Msamples/sec USB DSO, logic analyzer, and power supply. (See “$279 Analog Discovery 2 DSO, logic analyzer, power supply, etc. relies on Spartan-6 for programmability, flexibility.) And just like the Analog Discovery modules, the Digilent Digital Discovery is based on a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA (an LX25), which becomes pretty clear when you look at the product’s board photo. The Spartan-6 FPGA is right there in the center of the board:

 

 

Digilent Digital Discovery Module Board.jpg

 

Digilent’s Digital Discovery is based on a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA

 

 

When I write “based on,” what I mean to say is that Digilent’s IP in the Spartan-6 FPGA pretty much implements the entire low-cost instrument—as clearly shown in the block diagram:

 

 

Digilent Digital Discovery Module Block Diagram.jpg

 

 

Digilent’s Digital Discovery Module Block Diagram

 

 

And what does this $199.99 instrument do, considering that it’s implemented using a low-cost FPGA? Here are the specs (and pretty impressive specs they are):

 

 

  • 24-channel, 800Msamples/sec* digital logic analyzer (1.2…3.3V CMOS)
  • 16-channel, 100Msamples/sec pattern generator (1.2…3.3V)
  • 16-channel virtual digital I/O including buttons, switches, and LEDs – perfect for logic training applications
  • Two input/output digital trigger signals for linking multiple instruments (1.2…3.3V CMOS)
  • A programmable power supply of 1.2…3.3V/100mA. The same voltage supplies the Logic Analyzer input buffers and the Pattern Generator input/output buffers, for keeping the logic level compatibility with the circuit under test.
  • Digital Bus Analyzers (SPI, I²C, UART, Parallel)

 

*Note: to obtain speeds of 200MS/s and higher, the High Speed Adapter must be used.

 

 

So, you may have noted that asterisk on the logic analyzer's maximum sample rate. You need a Digital Discovery High Speed Adapter to attain the full 800Msamples/sec acquisition rate on the logic analyzer. Normally, that’s another $49.99. However, for the first 100 Digital Discovery buyers, Digilent is throwing in the high-speed adapter in for free.

 

Operators are standing by.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author
  • Be sure to join the Xilinx LinkedIn group to get an update for every new Xcell Daily post! ******************** Steve Leibson is the Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Planning at Xilinx. He started as a system design engineer at HP in the early days of desktop computing, then switched to EDA at Cadnetix, and subsequently became a technical editor for EDN Magazine. He's served as Editor in Chief of EDN Magazine, Embedded Developers Journal, and Microprocessor Report. He has extensive experience in computing, microprocessors, microcontrollers, embedded systems design, design IP, EDA, and programmable logic.