Throwback Thursday: Digilent’s Beginnings, Gene Apperson’s Story

Upon his retirement from Microsoft in 1998, Gene Apperson and his family relocated to Pullman, Washington. After a few years, Gene decided to go back to school as an undergraduate in mechanical engineering. A professor, Bob Richards, soon asked Gene to switch to the Master’s program, even though most of his background was in electrical engineering. He ended up taking a VLSI design class from none other than Clint Cole. While Gene ended up asking Clint whether he would be able to do well in the class, they got to talking and decided to start a company together.

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Women’s History in STEM

As I mentioned a couple days ago, we will have a greater focus on women’s history within STEM this month. Last summer, I did a blog series focusing on just that! With it being the beginning of the month, I’d like to do a throwback to one of my first posts in the series that provided an overarching history of women’s involvement in the long history of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Throwback Thursday: Digilent’s Old Location

Digilent hasn’t always been located at 1300 NE Henley Court! Looking back at its old locations is so fun — getting to see where we were and how we’ve grown. Today, we’d like to show you one of our former locations, the one right before our current building. This was Digilent’s fourth location. Norm snapped these pictures on a Friday night in 2006, just after we had re-organized the main floor. This was the “combine” building — it sits above what is now one of Pullman’s fine dining establishments, Black Cypress.

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Why Do Electronic Components Have Such Odd Values?

If you’ve been around electronics for a while, you’ve probably noticed that components like resistors, capacitors, zener diodes and inductors come in some odd values. Looking at the chart above, there seems to be no clear rationale behind the values, but there is a pattern. 47kΩ resistors and 22μF capacitors are everywhere, but not 40kΩ or 50kΩ resistors, or 20μF or 30μF capacitors. So what’s the deal? It all has to do with preferred numbers.

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History of the PmodLS1

As you learned from James’ post, Digilent offers 63 Pmods! Each of those products has its own story of its conception and evolution. One of those products that had a very interesting beginning is the PmodLS1.

A few weeks ago while chatting with James (another intern) and Gene (our co-founder) we were discussing how the company began and how the board design process works. In this discussion we discovered that the Pmod LS1 has a beginning in education at Washington State University.

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Women in STEM: Historical Perspectives

I’m excited to begin our new Women in STEM series! It will be a weekly feature throughout the summer, with new posts every Thursday or Friday. In this first installment, I will discuss how women have been involved with or kept from STEM fields throughout history. A historical perspective is necessary to understand a lot of the challenges women in science and engineering face today.

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