Add the Hilbert Transformer to Your DSP Toolkit, Part 1

Neil Robertson November 22, 20224 comments

In some previous articles, I made use of the Hilbert transformer, but did not explain its theory in any detail.  In this article, I’ll dig a little deeper into how the Hilbert Transformer works.  Understanding the Hilbert Transformer involves a modest amount of mathematics, but the payoff in useful applications is worth it.

As we’ll learn, a Hilbert Transformer is just a particular type of Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filter.  In Part 1 of this article, I’ll...

Candan's Tweaks of Jacobsen's Frequency Approximation

Cedron Dawg November 11, 2022

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by explaining how a tweak to a well known frequency approximation formula makes it better, and another tweak makes it exact. The first tweak is shown to be the first of a pattern and a novel approximation formula is made from the second. It only requires a few extra calculations beyond the original approximation to come up with an approximation suitable for most...

A Recipe for a Basic Trigonometry Table

Cedron Dawg October 4, 2022

This is an article that is give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by showing how to build a Sine and Cosine table from scratch. Along the way a recursive method is developed as a tone generator for a pure tone complex signal with an amplitude of one. Then a simpler multiplicative one. Each with drift correction factors. By setting the initial values to zero and one degrees and letting it run to build 45 values, the entire set of values needed...

A New Contender in the Quadrature Oscillator Race

Rick Lyons September 24, 20227 comments

This blog advocates a relatively new and interesting quadrature oscillator developed by A. David Levine in 2009 and independently by Martin Vicanek in 2015 [1]. That oscillator is shown in Figure 1.

The time domain equations describing the Figure 1 oscillator are

     w(n) =...

A New Related Site!

Stephane Boucher September 22, 20222 comments

We are delighted to announce the launch of the very first new Related site in 15 years!  The new site will be dedicated to the trendy and quickly growing field of Machine Learning and will be called - drum roll please - MLRelated.com.

We think MLRelated fits perfectly well within the “Related” family, with:

  • the fast growth of TinyML, which is a topic of great interest to the EmbeddedRelated community
  • the use of Machine/Deep Learning in Signal Processing applications, which is of...

Filtering Noise: The Basics (Part 1)

Aditya Dua September 17, 2022

Finding signals in the presence of noise is one of the fundamental quests of the discipline of signal processing. Noise is inherently random by nature, so a probability oriented approach is needed to develop a mathematical framework for filtering (i.e. removing/suppressing) noise. This framework or discipline, formally referred to as stochastic signal processing, is often taught in graduate level engineering programs and is covered from different perspectives in excellent...

Book Recommendation "What is Mathematics?"

Neil Robertson June 20, 20229 comments

What is Mathematics is a classic, lucidly written survey of mathematics by Courant and Robbins.  The first edition was published in 1941!  I have only read a portion of it, mainly the chapter on calculus.  One page of Courant is worth about five pages of my old college calculus textbook, and it’s a lot more fun to read.

The reader of this book should already be familiar with algebra and trigonometry.  For engineers, some worthwhile sections of the book are:

Evaluate Noise Performance of Discrete-Time Differentiators

Neil Robertson March 28, 20228 comments

When it comes to noise, all differentiators are not created equal.  Figure 1 shows the magnitude response of two differentiators.  They both have a useful bandwidth of a little less than π/8 radians (based on maximum magnitude response error of 2%).  Suppose we apply a signal with Gaussian noise to each of these differentiators.  The sinusoidal signal with noise is shown in the top of Figure 2.  Signal frequency is π/12.5 radians.  The output of the so-called...

Off-Topic: A Fluidic Model of the Universe

Cedron Dawg February 2, 20226 comments

This article is a followup to my previous article "Off Topic: Refraction in a Varying Medium"[1]. Many of the concepts should be quite familiar and of interest to the readership of this site. In the "Speculations" section of my previous article, I mention the goal of finding a similar differential equation as (18) of [1] for light traveling in gravity. It turns out it is the right equation, but a wrong understanding. As a consequence of trying to solve this puzzle, a new...

Learn About Transmission Lines Using a Discrete-Time Model

Neil Robertson January 12, 2022

We don’t often think about signal transmission lines, but we use them every day.  Familiar examples are coaxial cable, Ethernet cable, and Universal Serial Bus (USB).  Like it or not, high-speed clock and signal traces on printed-circuit boards are also transmission lines.

While modeling transmission lines is in general a complex undertaking, it is surprisingly simple to model a lossless, uniform line with resistive terminations by using a discrete-time approach.  A...

Digital Envelope Detection: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Rick Lyons April 3, 201620 comments

Recently I've been thinking about the process of envelope detection. Tutorial information on this topic is readily available but that information is spread out over a number of DSP textbooks and many Internet web sites. The purpose of this blog is to summarize various digital envelope detection methods in one place.

Here I focus on envelope detection as it is applied to an amplitude-fluctuating sinusoidal signal where the positive-amplitude fluctuations (the sinusoid's envelope)...

Design IIR Butterworth Filters Using 12 Lines of Code

Neil Robertson December 10, 201712 comments

While there are plenty of canned functions to design Butterworth IIR filters [1], it’s instructive and not that complicated to design them from scratch.  You can do it in 12 lines of Matlab code.  In this article, we’ll create a Matlab function butter_synth.m to design lowpass Butterworth filters of any order.  Here is an example function call for a 5th order filter:

N= 5 % Filter order fc= 10; % Hz cutoff freq fs= 100; % Hz sample freq [b,a]=...

A Beginner's Guide To Cascaded Integrator-Comb (CIC) Filters

Rick Lyons March 26, 202053 comments

This blog discusses the behavior, mathematics, and implementation of cascaded integrator-comb filters.

Cascaded integrator-comb (CIC) digital filters are computationally-efficient implementations of narrowband lowpass filters, and are often embedded in hardware implementations of decimation, interpolation, and delta-sigma converter filtering.

After describing a few applications of CIC filters, this blog introduces their structure and behavior, presents the frequency-domain...

Handling Spectral Inversion in Baseband Processing

Eric Jacobsen February 11, 200811 comments

The problem of "spectral inversion" comes up fairly frequently in the context of signal processing for communication systems. In short, "spectral inversion" is the reversal of the orientation of the signal bandwidth with respect to the carrier frequency. Rick Lyons' article on "Spectral Flipping" at http://www.dsprelated.com/showarticle/37.php discusses methods of handling the inversion (as shown in Figure 1a and 1b) at the signal center frequency. Since most communication systems process...

Four Ways to Compute an Inverse FFT Using the Forward FFT Algorithm

Rick Lyons July 7, 20151 comment

If you need to compute inverse fast Fourier transforms (inverse FFTs) but you only have forward FFT software (or forward FFT FPGA cores) available to you, below are four ways to solve your problem.

Preliminaries To define what we're thinking about here, an N-point forward FFT and an N-point inverse FFT are described by:

$$ Forward \ FFT \rightarrow X(m) = \sum_{n=0}^{N-1} x(n)e^{-j2\pi nm/N} \tag{1} $$ $$ Inverse \ FFT \rightarrow x(n) = {1 \over N} \sum_{m=0}^{N-1}...

Use Matlab Function pwelch to Find Power Spectral Density – or Do It Yourself

Neil Robertson January 13, 201938 comments

In my last post, we saw that finding the spectrum of a signal requires several steps beyond computing the discrete Fourier transform (DFT)[1].  These include windowing the signal, taking the magnitude-squared of the DFT, and computing the vector of frequencies.  The Matlab function pwelch [2] performs all these steps, and it also has the option to use DFT averaging to compute the so-called Welch power spectral density estimate [3,4].

In this article, I’ll present some...

The DFT Magnitude of a Real-valued Cosine Sequence

Rick Lyons June 17, 201410 comments

This blog may seem a bit trivial to some readers here but, then again, it might be of some value to DSP beginners. It presents a mathematical proof of what is the magnitude of an N-point discrete Fourier transform (DFT) when the DFT's input is a real-valued sinusoidal sequence.

To be specific, if we perform an N-point DFT on N real-valued time-domain samples of a discrete cosine wave, having exactly integer k cycles over N time samples, the peak magnitude of the cosine wave's...

Python scipy.signal IIR Filtering: An Example

Christopher Felton May 19, 2013

In the last posts I reviewed how to use the Python scipy.signal package to design digital infinite impulse response (IIR) filters, specifically, using the iirdesign function (IIR design I and IIR design II ).  In this post I am going to conclude the IIR filter design review with an example.

Previous posts:

Understanding and Relating Eb/No, SNR, and other Power Efficiency Metrics

Eric Jacobsen May 29, 20123 comments


Evaluating the performance of communication systems, and wireless systems in particular, usually involves quantifying some performance metric as a function of Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) or some similar measurement. Many systems require performance evaluation in multipath channels, some in Doppler conditions and other impairments related to mobility. Some have interference metrics to measure against, but nearly all include noise power as an impairment. Not all systems are...

The Exponential Nature of the Complex Unit Circle

Cedron Dawg March 10, 20155 comments

This is an article to hopefully give an understanding to Euler's magnificent equation:

$$ e^{i\theta} = cos( \theta ) + i \cdot sin( \theta ) $$

This equation is usually proved using the Taylor series expansion for the given functions, but this approach fails to give an understanding to the equation and the ramification for the behavior of complex numbers. Instead an intuitive approach is taken that culminates in a graphical understanding of the equation.