In this article, we will learn to make a function generator using ICL8038 IC. A function generator is a very useful device for anyone who works with electronics. Sine wave, Triangular wave, Square wave are the basic wave shapes we all need in electronics work.



What is function generator:

A function generator is usually a piece of electronic test equipment or software used to generate different types of electrical waveforms over a wide range of frequencies. Some of the most common waveforms produced by the function generator are the sine wave, square wave, triangular wave, and sawtooth shapes. These waveforms can be either repetitive or single-shot (which requires an internal or external trigger source). Integrated circuits used to generate waveforms may also be described as function generator ICs.

A Function generator

About ICL8038:

ICL8038 is a waveform generator. Here is the functional block diagram of this IC.

Functional diagram of ICL8038

Other similar IC:

Yes, there are similar ICs that can be used as a function generator. You can use XR2206 IC too to generate the different waveforms.

Circuit diagram:

Here we’ll see the circuit diagram that you can make for your homemade function generator with IC ICL8038. This circuit is not frequency tune-able. But if you want to tune the frequency you can do that too.

Fixed frequency diagram:

Circuit diagram for ICL8038 function generator

Here you need to use a dual power supply. I used +12V & -12V in simulation. It worked fine. You can download the proteus file from here.

Variable frequency diagram:

For variable frequency, you need to change the diagram a little bit like this one:

And if you want to keep both, you can do that too by using multiple variable resistors.


While simulating, I got a good result from this IC. I can change the swift tuning RV1. For frequency tune, you need to do a little modification of this circuit diagram.

Function generator with ICL8038


I’ve made the PCB for this too. You can check this if you wish you can make one too. As I use Sprint Layout 6.0 for most of the project, so I’ll share the design file with you.

PCB of ICL8038 Function Generator

Hope you enjoyed the project and it helped you make your own function generator/waveform generator whatever you call it. If you need any help feel free to contact me. Thank you.

For Professional Designs or Help:


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Mithun K. Das; B. Sc. in EEE from KUET; Head of R&D @ M's Lab Engineering Solution. "This is my personal blog. I post articles on different subjects related to electronics in the easiest way so that everything becomes easy for all, especially for beginners. If you have any questions, feel free to ask through the contact us page." Thanks.


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