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Review of Kester: Mixed Signal and DSP Design Techniques

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Section 1 offers an introduction to the topic, including a short discussion of what functionality is best implemented using anlog circuitry and what should be processed digitally.

Section 2 is a very readable introduction to the foundations of sampling and data conversion, including intuitive explanations of the Nyquist criteria, oversampling and undersampling, quantization errors and the effects of noise and distortion.

Section 3 and 4 cover A-D and D-A converters fo DSP applications. If you want a real in-depth discussion of converters you should look at Analog-Digital Conversion.

In Section 5 first introduces the DFT and then the modifications that lead to the faster FFT, which is discussed in much detail. It is a very good discussion of this difficult topic. Nobody can treat the FFT without using some mathematics, but Kester does a great job to keep the math at a minimum and to offer intuitive explanations. The effects of spectral leakage are also covered, including a short comparsion of some popular window functions like Hamming and Blackman.

Section 6 covers the basics of digital filters. It discusses IIR and FIR filters, their advantages and disadvantages, and some practical methods and programs to design them. Like in the other sections, the math is kept to a minum. At the end of the chapter there is a short discussion of adaptive filters and their applications.

Section 7 is nice if you happen to be interested in the architecture of the SHARC or TigerSHARC DSP families (but please keep in mind that the notes were written in 2000, if you have to select a DSP, look at the newer members of the families). For a general introduction to Digital Signal Processors it is too focussed on Analog Devices products. The same is true for section 8.

Even though the applications covered in section 9 are quite interesting and the foundations of some applications are clearly explained, you should again keep in mind that the notes were written in 2000. While some applications are still relevant, others (like modems) are outdated. If in doubt, you should first consult some more recent publications.

Section 10 about hardware design techniques offers good advice, especially if you have to design a system that contains both analog and digital signals. It covers low voltage interfaces, grounding, noise reduction of power supplies and the problems that may arise when signals from high speed logic have to travel over your circuit board.

You should also take a look at the other Analog Devices seminar notes.

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