Digilent and Analog Devices Unveil Portable Analog Design Kits For Engineering Students

March 22, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and Digilent Inc., unveiled two all-in-one analog design kits that enhance engineering students’ educational experience by allowing students to experiment quickly and easily with advanced technologies and build and test real-world, functional analog design circuits anytime – anywhere – right on their PCs.

For the price of a textbook, students can purchase a low-cost analog hardware development platform and components, with access to downloadable teaching materials, online support, textbook, reference designs and lab projects to design and implement analog circuits as a supplement to their core engineering curriculum.

The Digilent Analog Discovery Design Kit ($99 USD) and the more advanced Digilent Analog Explorer Design Kit ($199 USD) allow students to build and test a wide range of analog and digital circuits using their own PC without the need for any other equipment. This approach eliminates the time and space limitations of traditional university lab settings and allows students more flexibility to experiment with real circuits through direct hands-on experience. Digilent is the leading supplier of academic electrical engineering design kits with kits in use at over 1,500 universities in 70 countries. ADI is one of the world’s leading analog semiconductor companies.

"Active learning – learning by doing – helps engineering students understand the process of breaking down larger problems into smaller, more easily solved parts without losing the overall understanding of the complete system," said John Robertson, professor, Department of Engineering Technology, College of Technology and Innovation, Arizona State University. "The two new analog design kits from Digilent and Analog Devices set-up quickly and generate lots of data making any PC a 24/7 design studio for engineering students. I believe that students who own design kits and build circuits frequently learn better, retain more and enjoy the experience."

Both design kits connect via USB to a PC, run Digilent’s Waveforms software and are based on earlier, field-tested designs currently in use at colleges and universities worldwide.

"I like the flexibility of Digilent’s analog design kits. The department doesn’t need to maintain and staff the traditional large laboratory classrooms for my engineering students," said Kathleen Meehan, associate professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. "Students instead complete experiments after class where and when they want with the analog design kit they purchased at the beginning of the semester. We provide help in the traditional way as well as online videos that give students assistance when they need it – no matter what time of day or night."