Linear-phase FIR digital filters can generally be implemented with acceptable coefficient quantization sensitivity using the direct convolution sum method. When implemented in this way on a digital signal processor, fixed-point arithmetic is not only acceptable but may actually be preferable to floating-point arithmetic. Virtually all fixed-point digital signal processors accumulate a sum of products in a double-length accumulator. This means that only a single quantization is necessary to compute an output. Floating-point arithmetic, on the other hand, requires a quantization after every multiply and after every add in the convolution summation. With 32-b floating-point arithmetic these quantizations introduce a small enough error to be insignificant for many applications.
When realizing IIR filters, either a parallel or cascade connection of first- and second-order subfilters is almost always preferable to a high-order direct-form realization. With the availability of very low-cost floating-point digital signal processors, like the Texas Instruments TMS320C32, it is highly recommended that floating-point arithmetic be used for IIR filters. Floating-point arithmetic simultaneously eliminates most concerns regarding scaling, limit cycles, and overflow oscillations. Regardless of the arithmetic employed, a low roundoff noise structure should be used for the second- order sections. Good choices are given in  and . Recall that realizations with low fixed-point roundoff noise also have low floating-point roundoff noise. The use of a low roundoff noise structure for the second-order sections also tends to give a realization with low coefficient quantization sensitivity. First-order sections are not as critical in determining the roundoff noise and coefficient sensitivity of a realization, and so can generally be implemented with a simple direct form structure.
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