Sinusoidal Frequency Estimation Based on Time-Domain Samples

Rick Lyons April 20, 201719 comments

The topic of estimating a noise-free real or complex sinusoid's frequency, based on fast Fourier transform (FFT) samples, has been presented in recent blogs here on For completeness, it's worth knowing that simple frequency estimation algorithms exist that do not require FFTs to be performed . Below I present three frequency estimation algorithms that use time-domain samples, and illustrate a very important principle regarding so called "exact"...

Three Bin Exact Frequency Formulas for a Pure Complex Tone in a DFT

Cedron Dawg April 13, 2017

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving exact formulas for the frequency of a complex tone in a DFT. This time it is three bin versions. Although the problem is similar to the two bin version in my previous blog article "A Two Bin Exact Frequency Formula for a Pure Complex Tone in a DFT"[1], a slightly different approach is taken using linear algebra concepts. Because of an extra degree of freedom...

A Two Bin Exact Frequency Formula for a Pure Complex Tone in a DFT

Cedron Dawg March 20, 20179 comments

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving an exact formula for the frequency of a complex tone in a DFT. It is basically a parallel treatment to the real case given in Exact Frequency Formula for a Pure Real Tone in a DFT. Since a real signal is the sum of two complex signals, the frequency formula for a single complex tone signal is a lot less complicated than for the real case.


DFT Bin Value Formulas for Pure Complex Tones

Cedron Dawg March 17, 2017

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving an analytical formula for the DFT of pure complex tones and an alternative variation. It is basically a parallel treatment to the real case given in DFT Bin Value Formulas for Pure Real Tones. In order to understand how a multiple tone signal acts in a DFT it is necessary to first understand how a single pure tone acts. Since a DFT is a linear transform, the...

Canonic Signed Digit (CSD) Representation of Integers

Neil Robertson February 18, 2017

In my last post I presented Matlab code to synthesize multiplierless FIR filters using Canonic Signed Digit (CSD) coefficients.  I included a function dec2csd1.m (repeated here in Appendix A) to convert decimal integers to binary CSD values.  Here I want to use that function to illustrate a few properties of CSD numbers.

In a binary signed-digit number system, we allow each binary digit to have one of the three values {0, 1, -1}.  Thus, for example, the binary value 1 1...

Minimum Shift Keying (MSK) - A Tutorial

Qasim Chaudhari January 25, 20178 comments

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 standard.

MSK is a special case of Continuous-Phase Frequency Shift Keying (CPFSK) which is a special case of a general class of modulation schemes known as Continuous-Phase Modulation (CPM). It is worth noting that CPM (and hence CPFSK) is a...

New Video: Parametric Oscillations

Tim Wescott January 4, 2017

I just posted this last night.  It's kinda off-topic from the mission of the channel, but I realized that it had been months since I'd posted a video, and having an excuse to build on helped keep me on track.

Wavelets II - Vanishing Moments and Spectral Factorization

Vincent Herrmann October 11, 2016

In the previous blog post I described the workings of the Fast Wavelet Transform (FWT) and how wavelets and filters are related. As promised, in this article we will see how to construct useful filters. Concretely, we will find a way to calculate the Daubechies filters, named after Ingrid Daubechies, who invented them and also laid much of the mathematical foundations for wavelet analysis.

Besides the content of the last post, you should be familiar with basic complex algebra, the...

The Power Spectrum

Neil Robertson October 8, 2016

Often, when calculating the spectrum of a sampled signal, we are interested in relative powers, and we don’t care about the absolute accuracy of the y axis.  However, when the sampled signal represents an analog signal, we sometimes need an accurate picture of the analog signal’s power in the frequency domain.  This post shows how to calculate an accurate power spectrum.

Parseval’s theorem [1,2] is a property of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) that...

Wavelets I - From Filter Banks to the Dilation Equation

Vincent Herrmann September 28, 20168 comments

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of posts about wavelets, particularly about the Fast Wavelet Transform (FWT). The FWT is extremely useful in practice and also very interesting from a theoretical point of view. Of course there are already plenty of resources, but I found them tending to be either simple implementation guides that do not touch on the many interesting and sometimes crucial connections. Or they are highly mathematical and definition-heavy, for a...

A Recipe for a Common Logarithm Table

Cedron Dawg April 29, 2017

This is an article that is a digression from trying to give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT).

A method for building a table of Base 10 Logarithms, also known as Common Logarithms, is featured using math that can be done with paper and pencil. The reader is assumed to have some familiarity with logarithm functions. This material has no dependency on the material in my previous blog articles.

If you were ever curious about how...

Design a DAC sinx/x Corrector

Neil Robertson July 22, 20187 comments

This post provides a Matlab function that designs linear-phase FIR sinx/x correctors.  It includes a table of fixed-point sinx/x corrector coefficients for different DAC frequency ranges.

A sinx/x corrector is a digital (or analog) filter used to compensate for the sinx/x roll-off inherent in the digital to analog conversion process.  In DSP math, we treat the digital signal applied to the DAC is a sequence of impulses.  These are converted by the DAC into contiguous pulses...

DFT Bin Value Formulas for Pure Real Tones

Cedron Dawg April 17, 20151 comment

This is an article to hopefully give a better understanding to the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by deriving an analytical formula for the DFT of pure real tones. The formula is used to explain the well known properties of the DFT. A sample program is included, with its output, to numerically demonstrate the veracity of the formula. This article builds on the ideas developed in my previous two blog articles:

Multilayer Perceptrons and Event Classification with data from CODEC using Scilab and Weka

David E Norwood November 25, 2015

For my first blog, I thought I would introduce the reader to Scilab [1] and Weka [2].  In order to illustrate how they work, I will put together a script in Scilab that will sample using the microphone and CODEC on your PC and save the waveform as a CSV file.  Then, we can take the CSV file and open it in Weka.  Once in Weka, we have a lot of paths to consider in order to classify it.  I use the term classify loosely since there are many things you can do with data sets...

Design IIR Band-Reject Filters

Neil Robertson January 17, 2018

In this post, I show how to design IIR Butterworth band-reject filters, and provide two Matlab functions for band-reject filter synthesis.  Earlier posts covered IIR Butterworth lowpass [1] and bandpass [2] filters.  Here, the function br_synth1.m designs band-reject filters based on null frequency and upper -3 dB frequency, while br_synth2.m designs them based on lower and upper -3 dB frequencies.   I’ll discuss the differences between the two approaches later in this...

Digital PLL’s, Part 3 – Phase Lock an NCO to an External Clock

Neil Robertson May 27, 201821 comments

Sometimes you may need to phase-lock a numerically controlled oscillator (NCO) to an external clock that is not related to the system clocks of your ASIC or FPGA.  This situation is shown in Figure 1.  Assuming your system has an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) available, you can sync to the external clock using the scheme shown in Figure 2.  This time-domain PLL model is similar to the one presented in Part 1 of this series on digital PLL’s [1].  In that PLL, we...

There and Back Again: Time of Flight Ranging between Two Wireless Nodes

Qasim Chaudhari October 23, 20175 comments

With the growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) products, the number of applications requiring an estimate of range between two wireless nodes in indoor channels is growing very quickly as well. Therefore, localization is becoming a red hot market today and will remain so in the coming years.

One question that is perplexing is that many companies now a days are offering cm level accurate solutions using RF signals. The conventional wireless nodes usually implement synchronization...

Filter a Rectangular Pulse with no Ringing

Neil Robertson May 12, 201610 comments

To filter a rectangular pulse without any ringing, there is only one requirement on the filter coefficients:  they must all be positive.  However, if we want the leading and trailing edge of the pulse to be symmetrical, then the coefficients must be symmetrical.  What we are describing is basically a window function.

Consider a rectangular pulse 32 samples long with fs = 1 kHz.  Here is the Matlab code to generate the pulse:

N= 64; fs= 1000; % Hz sample...

Approximating the area of a chirp by fitting a polynomial

Alexandre de Siqueira November 15, 20158 comments

Once in a while we need to estimate the area of a dataset in which we are interested. This area could give us, for example, force (mass vs acceleration) or electric power (electric current vs charge).

One way to do that is fitting a curve on our data, and let's face it: this is not that easy. In this post we will work on this issue using Python and its packages. If you do not have Python installed on your system, check here how to...

ADC Clock Jitter Model, Part 1 – Deterministic Jitter

Neil Robertson April 16, 2018

Analog to digital converters (ADC’s) have several imperfections that affect communications signals, including thermal noise, differential nonlinearity, and sample clock jitter [1, 2].  As shown in Figure 1, the ADC has a sample/hold function that is clocked by a sample clock.  Jitter on the sample clock causes the sampling instants to vary from the ideal sample time.  This transfers the jitter from the sample clock to the input signal.

In this article, I present a Matlab...