Digital Filtering in the Frequency Domain

Andreas Schwarzinger

Time domain digital filtering, whether implemented using FIR or IIR techniques, has been very well documented in literature and been thoroughly used in many base band processor designs. However, with the advent of software defined radios as well as CPU support in more recent baseband processors, it has become possible and often desirable to filter signals in software rather than digital hardware. Whereas, time domain digital filtering can certainly be implemented in software as well, it becomes highly inefficient as the number of filter taps grows. Frequency domain filtering, using FFT and IFFT operations, is significantly more efficient and surprisingly easy to understand. This document introduces the reader to frequency domain filtering both in theory and in practice via a MatLab script.