Multiplierless Exponential Averaging

Rick Lyons December 5, 20089 comments

This blog discusses an interesting approach to exponential averaging. To begin my story, a traditional exponential averager (also called a "leaky integrator"), shown in Figure 1(a), is commonly used to reduce noise fluctuations that contaminate relatively constant-amplitude signal measurements.

Figure 1 Exponential averaging: (a) standard network; (b) single-multiply network.

That exponential averager's difference equation is

y(n) = αx(n) + (1 –...

Computing the Group Delay of a Filter

Rick Lyons November 19, 200817 comments

I just learned a new method (new to me at least) for computing the group delay of digital filters. In the event this process turns out to be interesting to my readers, this blog describes the method. Let's start with a bit of algebra so that you'll know I'm not making all of this up.

Assume we have the N-sample h(n) impulse response of a digital filter, with n being our time-domain index, and that we represent the filter's discrete-time Fourier transform (DTFT), H(ω), in polar form...

Computing Large DFTs Using Small FFTs

Rick Lyons June 24, 200815 comments

It is possible to compute N-point discrete Fourier transforms (DFTs) using radix-2 fast Fourier transforms (FFTs) whose sizes are less than N. For example, let's say the largest size FFT software routine you have available is a 1024-point FFT. With the following trick you can combine the results of multiple 1024-point FFTs to compute DFTs whose sizes are greater than 1024.

The simplest form of this idea is computing an N-point DFT using two N/2-point FFT operations. Here's how the trick...

Linear-phase DC Removal Filter

Rick Lyons March 30, 200820 comments

This blog describes several DC removal networks that might be of interest to the readers.

Back in August 2007 there was a thread on the comp.dsp newsgroup concerning the process of removing the DC (zero Hz) component from a time-domain sequence [1]. Discussed in that thread was the notion of removing a signal's DC bias by subtracting the signal's moving average from that signal, as shown in Figure 1(a).

Figure 1.

At first I thought...

Correlation without pre-whitening is often misleading

Peter Kootsookos February 19, 20089 comments
White Lies

Correlation, 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...

Handling Spectral Inversion in Baseband Processing

Eric Jacobsen February 11, 20087 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 discusses methods of handling the inversion (as shown in Figure 1a and 1b) at the signal center frequency. Since most communication systems process...

Computing Chebyshev Window Sequences

Rick Lyons January 8, 20089 comments

Chebyshev windows (also called Dolph-Chebyshev, or Tchebyschev windows), have several useful properties. Those windows, unlike the fixed Hanning, Hamming, or Blackman window functions, have adjustable sidelobe levels. For a given user-defined sidelobe level and window sequence length, Chebyshev windows yield the most narrow mainlobe compared to any fixed window functions.

However, for some reason, detailed descriptions of how to compute Chebyshev window sequences are not readily available...

Resolving 'Can't initialize target CPU' on TI C6000 DSPs - Part 2

Mike Dunn November 12, 20073 comments


The previous article discussed CCS configuration. The prerequisite for the following discussion is a valid CCS configuration file. All references will be for CCS 3.3, but they may be used or adapted to other versions of CCS. From the previous discussion, we know that the configuration file is located at 'C:\CCStudio_v3.3\cc\bin\brddat\ccBrd0.dat'.

XDS510 Emulators

Initial discussion will address only XDS510 class emulators that support TI drivers and utilities. This will...

Spectral Flipping Around Signal Center Frequency

Rick Lyons November 8, 20074 comments

Most of us are familiar with the process of flipping the spectrum (spectral inversion) of a real signal by multiplying that signal's time samples by (-1)n. In that process the center of spectral rotation is fs/4, where fs is the signal's sample rate in Hz. In this blog we discuss a different kind of spectral flipping process.

Consider the situation where we need to flip the X(f) spectrum in Figure 1(a) to obtain the desired Y(f) spectrum shown in Figure 1(b). Notice that the center of...

A Differentiator With a Difference

Rick Lyons November 3, 20076 comments

Some time ago I was studying various digital differentiating networks, i.e., networks that approximate the process of taking the derivative of a discrete time-domain sequence. By "studying" I mean that I was experimenting with various differentiating filter coefficients, and I discovered a computationally-efficient digital differentiator. A differentiator that, for low fequency signals, has the power of George Foreman's right hand! Before I describe this differentiator, let's review a few...

Impulse Response Approximation

Christopher Felton August 6, 20113 comments

Recently, I stumbled upon a stepped-triangular (ST) approximation that can be implemented as a cascade of recursive running sum (RRS) filters.  The following is a short introduction to the stepped-triangular approximation.The stepped-triangular approximation was introduced by Jovanovic-Dolecek and Mitra [1] as a quantized approximation of a low-pass filter (LPF).  Figure 1 shows an example of the approximation.


[Figure 1: Stepped Approximation of a LPF...

Least-squares magic bullets? The Moore-Penrose Pseudoinverse

Markus Nentwig October 24, 20109 comments


the topic of this brief article is a tool that can be applied to a variety of problems: The Moore-Penrose Pseudoinverse.While maybe not exactly a magic bullet, it gives us least-squares optimal solutions, and that is under many circumstances the best we can reasonably expect.

I'll demonstrate its use on a short example. More details can be found for example on Wikipedia, or the Matlab documentation...

Simultaneously Computing a Forward FFT and an Inverse FFT Using a Single FFT

Rick Lyons January 13, 20095 comments

Most of us are familiar with the processes of using a single N-point complex FFT to: (1) perform a 2N-point FFT on real data, and (2) perform two independent N-point FFTs on real data [1–5]. In case it's of interest to someone out there, this blog gives the algorithm for simultaneously computing a forward FFT and an inverse FFT using a single radix-2 FFT.

Our algorithm is depicted by the seven steps, S1 through S7, shown in Figure 1. In that figure, we compute the x(n) inverse FFT of...

Unit Testing for Embedded Algorithms

Anthony Ricke December 21, 2009

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...

Multimedia Processing with FFMPEG

Karthick Kumaran A S V November 16, 2015

FFMPEG is a set of libraries and a command line tool for encoding and decoding audio and video in many different formats. It is a free software project for manipulating/processing multimedia data. Many open source media players are based on FFMPEG libraries.

FFMPEG is developed under Linux but it can be compiled under most operating systems including Mac OS, Microsoft Windows. For more details about FFMPEG please refer

Implementing a full-duplex UART using the TMS320VC33 serial port

Manuel Herrera March 16, 20112 comments

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...

The Nature of Circles

Peter Kootsookos February 21, 20093 comments
What do you mean?

When calculating the mean of a list of numbers, the obvious approach is to sum them and divide by how many there are.

Suppose I give you a list of two numbers:

  • 0
  • 359

What is their mean? The obvious answer is 179.5.

If I told you that the numbers were compass bearings in degrees, what would your answer be then? Does 179.5 seem correct?

In the case of compass bearings, 0 is the same direction as 360. When talking about angles in the DSP world, we often talk about...

Fibonacci trick

Tim Wescott October 10, 20164 comments

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...

Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Peaks (Part 1)

Cedron Dawg May 12, 2017

This is an article that is a another digression from trying to give a better understanding of the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). Although it is not as far off as the last blog article.

A new family of formulas for calculating the frequency of a single pure tone in a short interval in the time domain is presented. They are a generalization of Equation (1) from Rick Lyons' recent blog article titled "Sinusoidal Frequency Estimation Based on Time-Domain Samples"[1]. ...

Exact Near Instantaneous Frequency Formulas Best at Zero Crossings

Cedron Dawg July 20, 2017

This 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...