## Understanding Radio Frequency Distortion

OverviewThe topic of this article are the effects of radio frequency distortions on a baseband signal, and how to model them at baseband. Typical applications are use as a simulation model or in digital predistortion algorithms.

IntroductionTransmitting and receiving wireless signals usually involves analog radio frequency circuits, such as power amplifiers in a transmitter or low-noise amplifiers in a receiver.Signal distortion in those circuits deteriorates the link quality. When...

## Knowledge Mine for Embedded Systems

I stumbled upon a great website (actually I found it on the google ads in gmail!) with comprehensive and deep information on embedded systems. The website talks about four main categories in embedded systems:

1) Embedded Systems Design.

2) Design Life cycle.

3) Design Methods.

4) Design Tools.

What I found special about this website is that when browse through the systems design section, you usually find a...

## Hidden Linear Algebra in DSP

Linear algebra (LA) is usually thought of as a blunt theoretical subject. However, LA is found hidden in many DSP algorithms used widely in practice.

An obvious clue in finding LA in DSP is the linearity assumption used in theoretical analysis of systems for modelling or design. A standard modelling example for this case would be linear time invariant (LTI) systems. LTI are usually used to model flat wireless communication channels. LTI systems are also used in the design of digital filter...

## Unit Testing for Embedded Algorithms

Happy Holidays! For my premier article, I am writing about my favorite technique to use when designing and developing software- unit testing. Unit testing is a best practice when designing software. It allows the designer to verify the behavior of the software units before the entire system is complete, and it facilitates the change and growth of the software system because the developer can verify that the changes will not affect the behavior of other parts of the system. I have used...

## Frequency Dependence in Free Space Propagation

Introduction

It seems to be fairly common knowledge, even among practicing professionals, that the efficiency of propagation of wireless signals is frequency dependent. Generally it is believed that lower frequencies are desirable since pathloss effects will be less than they would be at higher frequencies. As evidence of this, the Friis Transmission Equation[i] is often cited, the general form of which is usually written as:

Pr = Pt Gt Gr ( λ / 4πd )2 (1)

where the...

## Pulse Shaping in Single-Carrier Communication Systems

Some common conceptual hurdles for beginning communications engineers have to do with "Pulse Shaping" or the closely-related, even synonymous, topics of "matched filtering", "Nyquist filtering", "Nyquist pulse", "pulse filtering", "spectral shaping", etc. Some of the confusion comes from the use of terms like "matched filter" which has a broader meaning in the more general field of signal processing or detection theory. Likewise "Raised Cosine" has a different meaning or application in this...

## Correlation without pre-whitening is often misleading

White LiesCorrelation, as one of the first tools DSP users add to their tool box, can automate locating a known signal within a second (usually larger) signal. The expected result of a correlation is a nice sharp peak at the location of the known signal and few, if any, extraneous peaks.

A little thought will show this to be incorrect: correlating a signal with itself is only guaranteed to give a sharp peak if the signal's samples are uncorrelated --- for example if the signal is composed...

## Of Forests and Trees and DSP

When Stephane invited me to write a blog for dsprelated.com I immediately came up with a flood of ideas for highly detailed, technical, narrowly focused articles related to the intersection of DSP and control systems.

Then the USENET groups that I frequent received a spate of posts from people that were either asking about how to implement highly detailed, narrowly focused algorithms in ways that were either fundamental misapplications or were flawed because they were having problems...

## Instantaneous Frequency Measurement

I would like to talk about the oft used method of measuring the carrier frequency in the world of Signal Collection and Characterization world. It is an elegant technique because of its simplicity. But, of course, with simplicity, there come drawbacks (sometimes...especially with this one!).

In the world of Radar detection and characterization, one of the key characteristics of interest is the carrier frequency of the signal. If the radar is pulsed, you will have a very wide bandwidth, a...

## There's No End to It -- Matlab Code Plots Frequency Response above the Unit Circle

Reference [1] has some 3D plots of frequency response magnitude above the unit circle in the Z-plane. I liked them enough that I wrote a Matlab function to plot the response of any digital filter this way. I’m not sure how useful these plots are, but they’re fun to look at. The Matlab code is listed in the Appendix.This post is available in PDF format for easy...

## Implementing a full-duplex UART using the TMS320VC33 serial port

Although the TMS320VC33 serial port was designed to be used as a synchronous port, it can also be used as an asynchronous port under software control. This post describes the hardware and software needed to use a TMS320VC33 serial port as a full-duplex UART port. A schematic diagram and a lengthy code listing are provided to illustrate the solution. This note discusses the implementation of an interrupt-driven, full-duplex, asynchronous serial interface, 9600-baud UART with 8 data bits, 1...

## [Book Review] Numpy 1.5 Beginner's Guide

Full Disclosure: The publisher of this book, PACKT, was soliciting reviewers. I volunteered to review the book and the publisher sent me an e-version of the book.

IntroductionThe following is a review of "Numpy 1.5 Beginner's Guide", "Learn by doing: less theory, more results" by Ivan Idris. As the title suggests this book is for a beginner. Either someone who is new to numerical computing with high-level languages (HLL) or someone who is new to the Python...

## Fibonacci trick

I'm working on a video, tying the Fibonacci sequence into the general subject of difference equations.

Here's a fun trick: take any two consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, say 34 and 55. Now negate one and use them as the seed for the Fibonacci sequence, larger magnitude first, i.e.

$-55, 34, \cdots$

Carry it out, and you'll eventually get the Fibonacci sequence, or it's negative:

$-55, 34, -21, 13, -8, 5, -3, 2, -1, 1, 0, 1, 1 \cdots$

This is NOT a general property of difference...

## Exploring Human Hearing Range

Human Hearing RangeIn this post, I'll look at an interesting aspect of Audacity – using it to explore the threshold of human hearing. In my book Digital Signal Processing: A Gentle Introduction with Audio Examples, I go into this topic and I include a side note on the amazing hearing range of our canine companions.

Creating a Test Audio FileAudacity allows for the generation of a variety of test signals. If you click the Generate->Tone menu, it looks something like...

## Modelling a Noisy Communication Signal in MATLAB for the Analog to Digital Conversion Process

A critical thing to realize while modeling the signal that is going to be digitally processed is the SNR. In a receiver, the noise floor (hence the noise variance and hence its power) are determined by the temperature and the Bandwidth. For a system with a constant bandwidth, relatively constant temperature, the noise power remains relatively constant as well. This implies that the noise variance is a constant.

In MATLAB, the easiest way to create a noisy signal is by using...

## Of Forests and Trees and DSP

When Stephane invited me to write a blog for dsprelated.com I immediately came up with a flood of ideas for highly detailed, technical, narrowly focused articles related to the intersection of DSP and control systems.

Then the USENET groups that I frequent received a spate of posts from people that were either asking about how to implement highly detailed, narrowly focused algorithms in ways that were either fundamental misapplications or were flawed because they were having problems...

## An Alternative Form of the Pure Real Tone DFT Bin Value Formula

IntroductionThis is an article to hopefully give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving alternative exact formulas for the bin values of a real tone in a DFT. The derivation of the source equations can be found in my earlier blog article titled "DFT Bin Value Formulas for Pure Real Tones"[1]. The new form is slighty more complicated and calculation intensive, but it is more computationally accurate in the vicinity of near integer frequencies. This...

## Matlab Programming Contest

Every 6 months Mathworks hosts an online Matlab programming contest. If you love or hate Matlab check out the contest. The group does a really good job putting together the puzzles. The contest runs for a week and starts today at noon EST (10 Nov 2010).

If you are an experienced Matlab programmer or new to Matlab it is worth checking out. Even if you do not intend on submitting solutions. Also, the problems / puzzles only require the base Matlab...

## Finding the Best Optimum

When I was in school learning electrical engineering I owned a large mental pot, full of simmering resentment against the curriculum as it was being taught.

It really started in my junior year, when we took Semiconductor Devices, or more accurately "how to build circuits using transistors". I had been seduced by the pure mathematics of sophomore EE courses, where all the circuit elements (resistors, capacitors, coils and -- oh the joy -- dependent sources) are ideally modeled, and the labs...

## State Space Representation and the State of Engineering Thinking

Most, if not all, textbooks in signal processing (SP) thoroughly covers the frequency analysis of signals and systems alike, including the Fourier and the Z-transform that produce the well known Transfer Function. Another way of signal analysis, not as popular in signal processing though, is State Space representation. State space models describes the internal signals of the system or the process and how it affect the output, in contrast to the frequency representation that only describe the...

## Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Zero Crossings

IntroductionThis is an article that is the last of my digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). It is along the lines of the last two.

In those articles, I presented exact formulas for calculating the frequency of a pure tone signal as instantaneously as possible in the time domain. Although the formulas work for both real and complex signals (something that does not happen with frequency domain formulas), for real signals they...

## Digging into an Audio Signal and the DSP Process Pipeline

In this post, I'll look at the benefits of using multiple perspectives when handling signals.A Pre-existing Audio FileLet's say we have an audio file of interest. Let's load it into Audacity and zoom in a little (using View → Zoom → Zoom In, multiple times). The figure illustrates the audio signal: just a basic single-tone signal.

By continuing to zoom into the signal, we eventually get to the point of seeing individual samples as illustrated below. Notice that I've marked one...

## Improved Three Bin Exact Frequency Formula for a Pure Real Tone in a DFT

IntroductionThis is an article to hopefully give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by extending the exact two bin formulas for the frequency of a real tone in a DFT to the three bin case. This article is a direct extension of my prior article "Two Bin Exact Frequency Formulas for a Pure Real Tone in a DFT"[1]. The formulas derived in the previous article are also presented in this article in the computational order, rather than the indirect order they were...

## Fibonacci trick

I'm working on a video, tying the Fibonacci sequence into the general subject of difference equations.

Here's a fun trick: take any two consecutive numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, say 34 and 55. Now negate one and use them as the seed for the Fibonacci sequence, larger magnitude first, i.e.

$-55, 34, \cdots$

Carry it out, and you'll eventually get the Fibonacci sequence, or it's negative:

$-55, 34, -21, 13, -8, 5, -3, 2, -1, 1, 0, 1, 1 \cdots$

This is NOT a general property of difference...

## Smaller DFTs from bigger DFTs

IntroductionLet's consider the following hypothetical situation: You have a sequence $x$ with $N/2$ points and a black box which can compute the DFT (Discrete Fourier Transform) of an $N$ point sequence. How will you use the black box to compute the $N/2$ point DFT of $x$? While the problem may appear to be a bit contrived, the answer(s) shed light on some basic yet insightful and useful properties of the DFT.

On a related note, the reverse problem of computing an $N$...

## Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 2)

IntroductionThis is an article that is a continuation of a digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). It is recommended that my previous article "Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 1)"[1] be read first as many sections of this article are directly dependent upon it.

A second family of formulas for calculating the frequency of a single pure tone in a short interval in the time domain is presented. It...

## An Alternative Form of the Pure Real Tone DFT Bin Value Formula

IntroductionThis is an article to hopefully give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving alternative exact formulas for the bin values of a real tone in a DFT. The derivation of the source equations can be found in my earlier blog article titled "DFT Bin Value Formulas for Pure Real Tones"[1]. The new form is slighty more complicated and calculation intensive, but it is more computationally accurate in the vicinity of near integer frequencies. This...

## Finding the Best Optimum

When I was in school learning electrical engineering I owned a large mental pot, full of simmering resentment against the curriculum as it was being taught.

It really started in my junior year, when we took Semiconductor Devices, or more accurately "how to build circuits using transistors". I had been seduced by the pure mathematics of sophomore EE courses, where all the circuit elements (resistors, capacitors, coils and -- oh the joy -- dependent sources) are ideally modeled, and the labs...

## Knowledge Mine for Embedded Systems

I stumbled upon a great website (actually I found it on the google ads in gmail!) with comprehensive and deep information on embedded systems. The website talks about four main categories in embedded systems:

1) Embedded Systems Design.

2) Design Life cycle.

3) Design Methods.

4) Design Tools.

What I found special about this website is that when browse through the systems design section, you usually find a...