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Differences between ADALM1000 (Analog Devices) and ANALOG DISCOVERY 2


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My student came and asked me why we were not using the more affordable version of ADALM hardware module from Analog Devices (ADALM1000) for our classes which costs about $40 instead of the Analog Discovery (ADK) that costs around $250.

I could not give a direct answer. I heard Analog Discovery has more capabilities. Can someone highlight those features? I am assuming we can run more advanced electronics lab experiments. We also need to justify our cost for a project.. It'd be nice to also know difference between ADK and ADALM2000 too..

 Any help will be appreciated.


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>> I could not give a direct answer. I heard Analog Discovery has more capabilities.

I guess someone will have to do their homework ... after seeing the 2nd copy of the question my first thought was "lazy student meets lazy teacher". Not sure if that qualifies as an appropriate answer :-)

But then, the 2nd thought is you're asking for discussion of a "competitor" product (if that is even the case) which seems pretty irregular.

Why don't you have a look at the relevant capabilities and features and narrow down your question in a sense that is more constructive, given the nature of the forum (e.g. "product can do X but AD can do Y"? This is just the opinion of one user, please feel free to do whatever you like.

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This is one of those questions that I really didn't want to address... but after seeing the response above, here I am anyway.

I agree with the general stance taken by @xc6lx45. It's my view, though, that discussing 'competitor's products' on a vendors public forum isn't a terrible thing for anyone, including the vendor paying to support it's forum.

If you have to justify something based on cost it's not too hard to get your way as it's an accounting problem. Just pick the result you want and move the money around so it looks like the 'facts' support the end goal.

Assuming that you bother to take the advice of the previous post, and I hope that you do, it's still easy to come up with a poor answer. So what's support worth? If you don't ever need it then I guess that it's not worth anything. If you desperately need it, and there is none, then I suppose that not having it could make any imagined purchase price savings seem irrelevant.  Support costs money.

Is the Analog Discovery overpriced? I don't think so. Not compared to a typical textbook. Is it well supported? I'd think that the answer is an unqualified yes, compared to just about anything that I've bought recently, much less an FPGA based educational instrument. Could something costing less than 20% of the Analog Discovery be just as good and well supported? I don't know, but I'm skeptical about the possibility. No one can ascertain worth except the person buying or using the product for their own purposes and situation. I don't know anything about the ADALM, and frankly not interested in looking up the details. I do know about the Red Pitaya which is a product that is similar to the Analog Discovery, and costs more.

Personally, I view the idea of investing in a large purchase of hardware without having first hand knowledge of what I'm buying as pretty dumb. If evaluating competing products costs thousands that's one thing but we're not talking about a huge investment.  So, buy one of whatever product you think might be useful and see what happens when you use it. Does it do what you expect? Is there a place to post questions and get informed and intelligent responses? Does the documentation and software support make the product relatively painless to use? You get where this is going.  Be an intelligent consumer, especially if you end up being the support staff for a few hundred student users. Usually, it's not the cost that gets you where it hurts, it's the hidden costs that you didn't account for. Raw technical specs. taken out of context can be pretty misleading.

I have no financial ties to Digilent except as a long time customer. I am completely free to provide my own opinions when replying to posts.

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Hi @SAL,

I took a look at the ADALM1000 Product Highlight (link) and the ADALM2000 page (link) and found some differences between them and the Analog Discovery 2 (specifications here). I will clarify that I personally have not used one of these other devices or their software, nor did I spend a lot of time cataloging or looking into all of the differences, so keep that in mind.

Before listing some of the specs I found, this is what the Digilent Test & Instrument Product manager shared with me (and told me I could share) when I asked her about this:


The in terms of hardware, the main differences between the Analog Discovery 2 and ADALM2000 are higher oscilloscope resolution, higher bandwidth of the Analog Discovery 2 when using the BNC adapter, as well as significantly higher current and power output capabilities on the power supplies. But the biggest difference is in the software. We've been refining WaveForms for over a decade and we have countless reviews that speak to the quality. This is the reason why customers choose us over the ADALM2000. with easier to use software students can spend less time fiddling around and more time learning what the course is intended to teach. It also has a lot more comprehensive and industry standard features and even additional instruments.

For example the impedance analyzer and the curve tracer instrument we are about to add to the WaveForms software which provides the ability to do current voltage characteristic curves.

The Analog Discovery 2 is also one of our main products and we work hard to constantly improve and add more functionality so that the investment will continue to grow in value for our customers. Vs ADALM which is designed as an application example and isn't a focus of the company.



  • 2 analog inputs and outputs, potentially on the same pins rather than separate ones. Seemingly single ended.
    • 100 kSPS at 16 bit
    • 0V to 5V
  • 4 digital signals
    • I couldn't easily find a sample rate
  • 2 power supplies
    • 5V,  200 mA
    • 2.5V, 200 mA


  • 2 Analog inputs, differential
    • 100 MSPS, 12 bit
    • Couldn't easily find their accepted voltage range
    • don't know the bandwidth
    • software support for various analyzers like Spectrum and Network analyzers. Don't know what all is available in their software
  • 2 channel arbitrary waveform generator
    • 100 MSPS, 12 bit
    • don't know it's voltage output range
    • don't know the bandwidth
  • 16 digital channels
    • 100 MSPS
    • 3.3V CMOS, says 1.8V and 5V tolerant. I don't know if that's inputs or outputs.
    • Software support for digital bus analyzers (SPI, I2C, UART, Parallel). Don't know if others are supported
    • virtual digital IO supported
  • 2 triggers
  • 2 channel voltmeter
    • AC, DC, +/- 25V

The Analog Discovery 2 specifications are laid out in a much nicer format than I can do in the Forum here: https://reference.digilentinc.com/reference/instrumentation/analog-discovery-2/specifications.

Let me know if you have any questions.


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