sample rate conversion, software defined radio, polynomial-based filters, resampling, synthetic instrumentation, arbitrary waveform generators, decimation, interpolation


In this work, the design and application of Polynomial-Based Filters (PBF) for continuously variable Sample Rate Conversion (SRC) is studied. The major contributions of this work are summarized as follows. First, an explicit formula for the Fourier Transform of both a symmetrical and nonsymmetrical PBF impulse response with variable basis function coefficients is derived. In the literature only one explicit formula is given, and that for a symmetrical even length filter with fixed basis function coefficients. The frequency domain optimization of PBFs via linear programming has been proposed in the literature, however, the algorithm was not detailed nor were explicit formulas derived. In this contribution, a minimax optimization procedure is derived for the frequency domain optimization of a PBF with time-domain constraints. Explicit formulas are given for direct input to a linear programming routine. Additionally, accompanying Matlab code implementing this optimization in terms of the derived formulas is given in the appendix. In the literature, it has been pointed out that the frequency response of the Continuous-Time (CT) filter decays as frequency goes to infinity. It has also been observed that when implemented in SRC, the CT filter is sampled resulting in CT frequency response aliasing. Thus, for example, the stopband sidelobes of the Discrete-Time (DT) implementation rise above the CT designed level. Building on these observations, it is shown how the rolloff rate of the frequency response of a PBF can be adjusted by adding continuous derivatives to the impulse response. This is of great advantage, especially when the PBF is used for decimation as the aliasing band attenuation can be made to increase with frequency. It is shown how this technique can be used to dramatically reduce the effect of alias build up in the passband. In addition, it is shown that as the number of continuous derivatives of the PBF increases the resulting DT implementation more closely matches the Continuous-Time (CT) design. When implemented for SRC, samples from a PBF impulse response are computed by evaluating the polynomials using a so-called fractional interval, µ. In the literature, the effect of quantizing µ on the frequency response of the PBF has been studied. Formulas have been derived to determine the number of bits required to keep frequency response distortion below prescribed bounds. Elsewhere, a formula has been given to compute the number of bits required to represent µ to obtain a given SRC accuracy for rational factor SRC. In this contribution, it is shown how these two apparently competing requirements are quite independent. In fact, it is shown that the wordlength required for SRC accuracy need only be kept in the µ generator which is a single accumulator. The output of the µ generator may then be truncated prior to polynomial evaluation. This results in significant computational savings, as polynomial evaluation can require several multiplications and additions. Under the heading of applications, a new Wideband Digital Downconverter (WDDC) for Synthetic Instruments (SI) is introduced. DDCs first tune to a signal's center frequency using a numerically controlled oscillator and mixer, and then zoom-in to the bandwidth of interest using SRC. The SRC is required to produce continuously variable output sample rates from a fixed input sample rate over a large range. Current implementations accomplish this using a pre-filter, an arbitrary factor resampler, and integer decimation filters. In this contribution, the SRC of the WDDC is simplified reducing the computational requirements to a factor of three or more. In addition to this, it is shown how this system can be used to develop a novel computationally efficient FFT-based spectrum analyzer with continuously variable frequency spans. Finally, after giving the theoretical foundation, a real Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) implementation of a novel Arbitrary Waveform Generator (AWG) is presented. The new approach uses a fixed Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) sample clock in combination with an arbitrary factor interpolator. Waveforms created at any sample rate are interpolated to the fixed DAC sample rate in real-time. As a result, the additional lower performance analog hardware required in current approaches, namely, multiple reconstruction filters and/or additional sample clocks, is avoided. Measured results are given confirming the performance of the system predicted by the theoretical design and simulation.


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Graduation Date



Mikhael, Wasfy


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Release Date

August 2013

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)