Application Engineering
Application EngineeringDigi-Key’s Application Engineering team exists to provide engineers with both general information resources and complimentary project-specific assistance. We produce application notes, webinars, instructional videos, and development tools. Our team also provides support and advice regarding system design, component selection, development tools, and other pertinent design issues. As certified support personnel for many of our suppliers, our team members receive in-depth factory training and have direct relationships with these manufacturers.

While our group supports everything on Digi-Key’s line card, we focus on select product lines, including various microcontrollers, PLDs, analog, RF modules, cables, enclosures, lighting components, and other products. We can provide information regarding new and future products, relevant design aids, and product availability. When the need arises, we can also leverage our relationships with suppliers to resolve problems outside our purview.

Our team also interfaces with Digi-Key’s Design Services Providers Network. These electrical design firms offer contract engineering services, including design feasibility studies, hardware/software development, prototyping, and manufacturing.

Feel free to use the resources found here or contact us if you have specific questions. Additional resources are available on our connectivity page.
 
  • Microcontrollers
  • Lighting
  • Other Topics
  • Videos

Microcontrollers

Saleable Boards
- Designed and distributed exclusively by Digi-Key.

  Digi Key Part Number Manufacturer Part Number Description Datasheet
PIC32 Microcontroller Breakout Board Image 876-1000-ND DKSB1000C PIC32 Microcontroller Breakout Board Datasheet
dsPIC33 Breakout Board Image 876-1001-ND DKSB1001B dsPIC33 Breakout Board Datasheet
PIC24 Breakout Board Image 876-1004-ND DKSB1011A PIC24 Breakout Board Datasheet
Board Eval CC430 Alt Energy Image 906-1001-ND DKSB1009A BOARD EVAL CC430 ALT ENERGY  

Application Notes - Explanations, reference designs, and example code.

DKAN0000B NXP LPC21/23xx Quick Start This application note describes the procedure for initializing the PLL, MAM, and VIC to realize the full capabilities of this processor.  Example Code for DKAN0000B
DKAN0005A PWM Example Using Microchip’s Capture/Compare/PWM Module This application note explains Pulse Width Modulation signal generation, shows how to configure the Capture/Compare/PWM (CCP) module, and provides an example power control circuit (LED light engine dimming) using the PIC12F683.  Example Code for DKAN0005A
DKAN0006A eZ80F91 Ethernet Quick Start Guide This guide aids in the development of Ethernet applications that utilize eZ80F devices and the RZK and ZTP software stacks from Zilog, particularly the I2C protocol for peripheral communication and the HTML server and SMTP client protocols. This guide is based on the eZ80 Acclaim!® MCU and the ZTP stack, which supports SMTP Client.
DKAN0007A Interfacing with a Capacitance Based Humidity Sensor This application note covers a method of converting the capacitive output of a humidity sensor to a frequency. A microcontroller monitors this frequency and controls an output based upon a programmed threshold.  Example Code for DKAN0007A
DKAN0008A PIC18 Software UART Timing Requirements The Microchip MPLAB C18 C Compiler Libraries include software UART functions. Implementing this UART requires the user to calculate and meet the specific timing requirements for the desired baud rate. This application note provides information on the time delays required in the serial data sampling routines and the relationship between the sampling rate and the serial data.
DKAN0013A CRC Basics A Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) is a verification method used to ensure that data being sent is not corrupted during transfer. There is a need to check for communication errors in embedded systems, as technology drives them to be capable of creating and sending larger data packets in a faster and more complex manner. This application note discusses a method for computing and verifying a CRC.  Example Code for DKAN0013A

Videos - Quick introductions to get you started.

Freescale Tower Overview Jamie Pederson demonstrates the first two labs that come with the Freescale Tower demo kit.
Freescale Tower Labs 1 and 2 Jamie Pederson shows an out-of-box and hookup demonstration of the Tower modular system from Freescale Semiconductor - $98.73.

Lighting

Saleable Boards
- Designed and distributed exclusively by Digi-Key.

  Digi Key Part Number Manufacturer Part Number Description Datasheet
LM3406HV Evaluation Board Image 876-1003-ND DKSB1003A LM3406HV Evaluation Board Datasheet

Application Notes - Explanations, reference designs, and example code.

DKAN0005A PWM Example Using Microchip’s Capture/Compare/PWM Module This application note explains Pulse Width Modulation signal generation, shows how to configure the Capture/Compare/PWM (CCP) module, and provides an example power control circuit (LED light engine dimming) using the PIC12F683.  Example Code for DKAN0005A

Webinars - Our engineers team up with vendors to provide training.

LEDs and Reliability This panel discussion addresses power and thermal management issues as they relate to lighting design choices and component selection.
LED Lighting and Network Design Issues Digi-Key teams up with Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, and Tyco Electronics for a questions and answer session on LEDs, sensors, and lighting control.
Lighting and System Design Digi-Key teams up with EE Times, to talk about one of the hottest technologies today, lighting.

Videos - Quick introductions to get you started.

Helieon Light Module Jamie Pederson demonstrates the new Helieon Sustainable Light Module created by Molex and Bridgelux.
Luminaire Design Example Alex Aldag demonstrates a design for a luminaire using a high-brightness LED.
ROHM LED Driver Jamie Pederson demonstrates the use of the 11 pin SIP LED driver module from ROHM Semiconductor.
Soldering High-Brightness LEDs Steve Dahl demonstrates a method of soldering high-brightness LEDs to a thermal pad using a heat gun.
Simple LED Lighting Kit Demo

Jamie demonstrates how to put together Digi-Key's newest lighting kit that features Cree's CXA20 LED.

The Digi-Key Pulse Shawn Rhen demonstrates a DIY LED project that dances to music.


Other Topics

Saleable Boards
- Designed and distributed exclusively by Digi-Key.

  Digi Key Part Number Manufacturer Part Number Description Datasheet
ADXL335 Prototyping Board Image 876-1002-ND DKSB1002A ADXL335 Prototyping Board Datasheet
PIC24 Breakout Board Image 906-1000-ND DKSB1007A L137 DVI/VGA Adapter Board  

Application Notes - Explanations, reference designs, and example code.

FPGAs & CPLDs
DKAN0001A Programmable Logic Controller for Character LCD Modules This application note provides and discusses a VHDL component for LCD control. The controller manages the initialization and data flow to HD44780 compatible 8-bit interface character LCD modules. This example VHDL component allows simple LCD integration into practically any programmable logic application.   Example Code for DKAN0001A
DKAN0010A Setting Up a Nios II System with Flash Memory on the DE2 This tutorial details how to set up and instantiate a Nios II system on Terasic Technologies, Inc.’s DE2 Altera Development and Education Board. The system includes an interface to the board’s 4MB flash memory chip and runs the application program from flash. It also sets up and implements the LCD, seven-segment displays, red and green LEDs, switches, and pushbuttons.   Example Code for DKAN0010A
DKAN0011A Setting Up a Nios II System with SDRAM on the DE2 This tutorial details how to set up and instantiate a Nios II system on Terasic Technologies, Inc.’s DE2 Altera Development and Education Board. The system includes an interface to the board’s 8MB SDRAM chip and runs the application program from SDRAM. It also sets up and implements the LCD, seven-segment displays, red and green LEDs, switches, and pushbuttons.  Example Code for DKAN0011A
NKK SmartDisplays & SmartSwitches
DKAN0002A Bit-banging the SmartDisplay The IS01BFRGB SmartDisplay is NKK’s standard LCD, used in every 36x24 LCD SmartSwitch.  It features a 36x24 pixel monochrome LCD with red, green, and blue LED backlights. This application note describes the display’s interface and provides an example implementation using bit manipulation.  Complete C source code for Atmel’s AVR ATtiny13A is provided.  Example Code for DKAN0002A
DKAN0003A Controlling the SmartDisplay with a SPI Peripheral The IS01BFRGB SmartDisplay is NKK’s standard LCD, used in every 36x24 LCD SmartSwitch. It features a 36x24 pixel monochrome LCD with red, green, and blue LED backlights. This application note describes the display’s interface and provides an example implementation using a SPI peripheral. Complete C source code for Atmel’s AVR ATmega88PA is provided.  Example Code for DKAN0003A
DKAN0012A Controlling the NKK 64x32 SmartSwitch and SmartDisplay The IS01DBFRGB SmartDisplay is used in every 64x32 LCD SmartSwitch. It features a 64x32 pixel monochrome LCD with red, green, and blue LED backlights. This application note helps describe the display’s interface and provides an example implementation using a SPI peripheral. Complete C source code for Atmel’s AVR ATmega88PA is provided in this link.  Example Code for DKAN0012A
Connectivity
DKAN0004A Introduction to Embedded Ethernet Components This application note provides an entry level discussion of embedded Ethernet components. It includes a broad overview of the possible hardware implementations and software requirements to meet the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet specification.
DKAN0009A Free2move Bluetooth Wireless UART Firmware Tutorial This application note demonstrates how to implement a wireless connection between a PC and a Free2move Bluetooth module using the Serial Port Profile (SPP).

Webinars - Our engineers team up with vendors to provide training.

Understanding and Applying Digital Potentiometers Engineers from Analog Devices and Digi-Key discuss important design considerations to get the most out of digital pots. Trimming out errors, adjusting levels and biases, setting comparison points, and adjusting filters or oscillators are but a few of the many useful applications for potentiometers. Replacing manual pots with programmable digital pots can increase adjustment precision and accuracy, make system functions easier and cheaper to implement, and reduce user errors.
Understanding and Optimizing Sampled Data Systems Engineers from Analog Devices and Digi-Key take an in-depth look at data sampling and the many unique design issues that it creates, and more importantly, how to deal with them to optimize a design. This webinar discusses quantization error and noise, aliasing, under- and over-sampling, jitter, dither, slew and skew, and much more.

Videos - Quick introductions to get you started.

Abracon MEMSpeedPro An out-of-box look and demonstration of the MEMSpeedPro from Abracon.
DLP Pico Projector Development Part 1 Part 1 of Another Geek Moment series on the DLP® Pico™ Projector Development Kit.
DLP Pico Projector Development Part 2 Part 2 of Another Geek Moment series on the DLP® Pico™ Projector Development Kit.
DLP Pico Projector Development Part 3 Part 3 of Another Geek Moment series on the DLP® Pico™ Projector Development Kit.
Freescale's Rugged RF Jamie Pederson heads out to Freescale's RF lab to demonstrate just how rugged their parts are.
Rose+Bopla's Indestructible Box Jamie Pederson shows the destructive force required to damage box manufactured by Rose+Bopla.
Panasonic Pyrolitic Graphite Sheets Jamie Pederson shows off Panasonic's new thermal conductive material, the pyrolitic graphite sheets.

Videos