Digilent Digital Discovery with High Speed Adapter - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Digilent Digital Discovery with High Speed Adapter

Author: s2000gt

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Test Equipment

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Saleae Logic 8/16

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:







24-channel digital logic analyzer (1.2…3.3V CMOS, up to 800MS/s(with the High Speed Adapter))

16-channel pattern generator (1.2…3.3V CMOS, 100MS/s)

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, I2S, CAN, Parallel)


Competing Modules


When I first saw this, I thought, is this just another cheap Saleae Logic knockoff.

Well not even close.The numbers don't lie.


Saleae 8/16 Pro $479/$599

4 channels @ 500 MS/s

Digilent Digital Discovery $250

8 channels @ 800 MS/s (with HS adapter)

(number of active channels at highest sampling rate)


With the High Speed adapter this unit has some real capability at a price point that can't be touched.

Still the Saleae has been the leading mini format analyzer for so long, only fair to make some comparisons.


Both are based on the Spartan-6 FPGA.






And while Saleae may have a slightly more 'polished' software interface, Digilents Waveforms interface is very easy to use and frequently updated with new features.

With a few more added bus analyzers, Saleae could find themselves easily surpassed by this new addition to the Digilent line of logic products.


Test Setup




Using my handy Microchip board, I tried the I2C bus.





First the logic analyzer, no problems decoding the data.




Next the bus protocol analyzer, again easy as can be.


Final Thoughts


I can easily say this is one device everyone should have in their tool kit.

While not as diverse as the Analog Discovery 2 in features, it certainly makes up

for that in it's sheer power by focusing only on digital signals.