Digilent Inc, An NI Company

Using NI LabVIEW and Digilent USB 32-channel Logic Analyzer to debug digital systems

NI LabVIEW is an integral part of virtual instrumentation because it provides an easy-to-use application development environment designed specifically with the needs of engineers, system integrators and scientists in mind. LabVIEW offers powerful features that make it easy to connect to a wide variety of hardware and other software. Digilent, A NI company, offers a variety of USB test and measurement devices to engineers and developers. All of Digilent test and measurement devices are compatible to NI LabVIEW.


With LabVIEW and Digital Digital Discovery, users can now debug embedded designs and digital systems. This allows engineers and developers to edit, create and control the Digital Discovery, Portable USB Logic Analyzer and Digital Pattern Generator, from LabVIEW Graphical User Interface.

The Digilent Digital Discovery™ is a combined logic analyzer and pattern generator instrument that was created to be the ultimate embedded development companion. Digital Discovery was designed to optimize channels, speed, and portability. It can be configured to be any of the below instruments

  • 32-channel digital logic analyzer (1.2…3.3V CMOS, 8 channels at 800MS/s*, 16 channels at 400MS/s*, and 32 channels at 200MS/s)
    • Digital Bus Analyzers (SPI, I²C, UART, CAN, Parallel)
  • 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
  • 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.

Application Notes

We have created several application notes to help users with different debugging and tests.  Each application includes a set-up guide, design overview and LabVIEW VIs.

1. Spying on I2C communication

Arduino UNO and Pmod TMP3 are used to measure the ambient temperature. Digital Discovery is used to spy on I2C communication, to receive the data, and to display the temperature on a LabVIEW user interface.

2. Programming an AVR microcontroller

Using Digital Discovery to program an AVR microcontroller (Arduino Pro Mini in this case). User can control the programming parameters and receive feedback about the state of the devices through a LabVIEW.

3.  Interfacing with different logic voltages

Digital Discovery and LabVIEW are used to interface a 3.3V USB to UART converter (Pmod USBUART) with a microcontroller (ATmega328P) running in low power mode, supplied with a voltage set by the user.

The project details and example VIs are at Digilent Reference Page.