## Learn to Use the Discrete Fourier Transform

Discrete-time sequences arise in many ways: a sequence could be a signal captured by an analog-to-digital converter; a series of measurements; a signal generated by a digital modulator; or simply the coefficients of a digital filter. We may wish to know the frequency spectrum of any of these sequences. The most-used tool to accomplish this is the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), which computes the discrete frequency spectrum of a discrete-time sequence. The DFT is easily calculated using software, but applying it successfully can be challenging. This article provides Matlab examples of some techniques you can use to obtain useful DFT’s.

## Model a Sigma-Delta DAC Plus RC Filter

Sigma-delta digital-to-analog converters (SD DAC’s) are often used for discrete-time signals with sample rate much higher than their bandwidth. For the simplest case, the DAC output is a single bit, so the only interface hardware required is a standard digital output buffer. Because of the high sample rate relative to signal bandwidth, a very simple DAC reconstruction filter suffices, often just a one-pole RC lowpass. In this article, I present a simple Matlab function that models the combination of a basic SD DAC and one-pole RC filter. This model allows easy evaluation of the overall performance for a given input signal and choice of sample rate, R, and C.

## DAC Zero-Order Hold Models

This article provides two simple time-domain models of a DAC’s zero-order hold. These models will allow us to find time and frequency domain approximations of DAC outputs, and simulate analog filtering of those outputs. Developing the models is also a good way to learn about the DAC ZOH function.

## Decimators Using Cascaded Multiplierless Half-band Filters

In my last post, I provided coefficients for several multiplierless half-band FIR filters. In the comment section, Rick Lyons mentioned that such filters would be useful in a multi-stage decimator. For such an application, any subsequent multipliers save on resources, since they operate at a fraction of the maximum sample frequency. We’ll examine the frequency response and aliasing of a multiplierless decimate-by-8 cascade in this article, and we’ll also discuss an interpolator cascade using the same half-band filters.

## Pentagon Construction Using Complex Numbers

A method for constructing a pentagon using a straight edge and a ruler is deduced from the complex values of the Fifth Roots of Unity. Analytic values for the points are also derived.

## Multiplierless Half-band Filters and Hilbert Transformers

This article provides coefficients of multiplierless Finite Impulse Response 7-tap, 11-tap, and 15-tap half-band filters and Hilbert Transformers. Since Hilbert transformer coefficients are simply related to half-band coefficients, multiplierless Hilbert transformers are easily derived from multiplierless half-bands.

## Interpolator Design: Get the Stopbands Right

In this article, I present a simple approach for designing interpolators that takes the guesswork out of determining the stopbands.

## Return of the Delta-Sigma Modulators, Part 1: Modulation

About a decade ago, I wrote two articles: Modulation Alternatives for the Software Engineer (November 2011) Isolated Sigma-Delta Modulators, Rah Rah Rah! (April 2013) Each of these are about delta-sigma modulation, but they’re...

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

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

## Learn to Use the Discrete Fourier Transform

Discrete-time sequences arise in many ways: a sequence could be a signal captured by an analog-to-digital converter; a series of measurements; a signal generated by a digital modulator; or simply the coefficients of a digital filter. We may wish to know the frequency spectrum of any of these sequences. The most-used tool to accomplish this is the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), which computes the discrete frequency spectrum of a discrete-time sequence. The DFT is easily calculated using software, but applying it successfully can be challenging. This article provides Matlab examples of some techniques you can use to obtain useful DFT’s.

## Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) - A Tutorial

Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) is one of the most spectrally efficient modulation schemes available. Due to its constant envelope, it is resilient to non-linear distortion and was therefore chosen as the modulation technique for the GSM cell phone...

## A Fixed-Point Introduction by Example

Introduction The finite-word representation of fractional numbers is known as fixed-point. Fixed-point is an interpretation of a 2's compliment number usually signed but not limited to sign representation. It...

## FFT Interpolation Based on FFT Samples: A Detective Story With a Surprise Ending

This blog presents several interesting things I recently learned regarding the estimation of a spectral value located at a frequency lying between previously computed FFT spectral samples. My curiosity about this FFT interpolation process was triggered by reading a spectrum analysis paper written by three astronomers.

## A Beginner's Guide to OFDM

In the recent past, high data rate wireless communications is often considered synonymous to an Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) system. OFDM is a special case of multi-carrier communication as opposed to a conventional...

## Two Easy Ways To Test Multistage CIC Decimation Filters

This article presents two very easy ways to test the performance of multistage cascaded integrator-comb (CIC) decimation filters. Anyone implementing CIC filters should take note of the following proposed CIC filter test methods.

## An Efficient Linear Interpolation Scheme

This article presents a computationally-efficient linear interpolation trick that requires at most one multiply per output sample.

## Understanding and Relating E_{b}/N_{o}, SNR, and other Power Efficiency Metrics

Introduction 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...

## Understanding and Implementing the Sliding DFT

Introduction In many applications the detection or processing of signals in the frequency domain offers an advantage over performing the same task in the time-domain. Sometimes the advantage is just a simpler or more conceptually...