Kane Unveils Latest Signalwizard Filter Design Kit

Kane Computing, in conjunction with Manchester University, has introduced the latest version of the Signalwizard real-time filter design kit. The Signalwizard 2.5 kit includes hardware and software and provides an integrated system for designing, downloading and running high-performance filters in real time. It includes the high-level PC-based software interface that designs the filter according to the user's requirements, a hardware module based on an advanced digital signal processor (DSP) and a low-level firmware operating system that implements the filtering operations.

Signalwizard 2.5 brings the power of DSP to any audio-bandwidth domain that requires electronic signal filtering. Applications include audio signal processing, sensor signal conditioning, signal analysis, vibration analysis, education and research in electrical, electronic and other physical sciences. The Signalwizard total-solution package is suitable for the real-time processing of audio signals. High-quality analogue signal conditioning and a stereo 24-bit resolution codec provide high resolution, sufficient for demanding applications.

Once designed, an integrated software interface is used to download the filter to the hardware module via a serial link, where it is executed on demand. The system requires no knowledge of digital signal processing theory on the part of the user or of the mathematics associated with digital filter design. New features of Version 2.5 include true standalone operation (without a PC) once configured, IIR and adaptive filters, true dual-channel operation, impulse response import, real or complex frequency response import, delay options for in/out and FIR filter modes, a real-time spectrum analyser, a dual-channel sine-wave generator and an arbitrary function generator.

The Signalwizard hardware module kit connects to a PC via a standard serial (RS232) link. The module comprises signal pre- and post-conditioning circuitry, a high-resolution stereo codec, a high-speed DSP device, memory, timing and control subsystems. The 24-bit over-sampling stereo codec system is configurable by the user to any one of 12 sample rates, ranging from 48kHz down to 4kHz. In terms of input signal frequency ranges, this equates to 24kHz down to 2kHz. The codec accepts or generates a 2V peak-to-peak signal. The power of the hardware module depends on its own operating system, which is invisible to the user but communicates with the PC software.

The Signalwizard PC software performs a number of functions. First, it designs the filter according to the user's specifications. The filter is expressed as a set of FIR coefficients or taps, IIR coefficients or as an adaptive expression. Collectively, the coefficients of a filter are known as the impulse response. It then converts the floating-point representation of the coefficients to 24-bit fractional arithmetic (again, this is invisible to the user). The software automatically downloads the low-level firmware operating system to the hardware via a serial link. It automatically communicates with the firmware embedded in the digital system to download the filter coefficients via the same serial link.

It allows the user to alter the system's gain, sampling rate and delay during runtime. The software enables the user to switch instantaneously between a filtered or non-filtered signal at runtime. The software includes a flexible filter design section, a window that displays the frequency or impulse response of the realised filter in various formats and a hardware control section for downloading a filter and generally communicating with the filter module. The Signalwizard hardware module kit can be purchased as a separate item.


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