In an article on Phase Locked Loop (PLL) for symbol timing recovery, we described an intuitive view of a maximum likelihood Timing Error Detector (TED). We saw that the timing matched filter is constructed by computing the derivative of the matched filter and consequently its output is the derivative of the input signal. Naturally, this output is more fine-grained and hence accurate when the number of samples/symbol $L$ is large. Here, $L$ must be several times larger than the minimum limit set by the Nyquist theorem. However, in most applications, reducing the complexity of the timing locked loop is far

Continue reading# Tag: Phase Locked Lop (PLL)

## Mueller and Muller Timing Synchronization Algorithm

Proposed in 1976, Mueller and Muller algorithm is a timing synchronization technique that operates at symbol rate, as opposed to most other synchronization algorithms that require at least 2 samples/symbol such as early-late and Gardner timing error detectors. All of these are feedback techniques that operate within a PLL. Feedforward methods such as digital filter and square timing synchronization are also feasible due to powerful digital signal processing that avoids feedback problems such as hangups. The most confusing thing communication engineers and radio hobbyists find about Mueller and Muller algorithm algorithm is the cross product in its expression: matched filter

Continue reading## Discrete-Time Integrators

An integrator is a very important filter that proves useful in implementation of many blocks of a communication receiver such as symbol timing synchronization and Phase-Locked Loop (PLL). It is an inverse operation to a differentiator that is also used in many signal processing applications such as FM demodulation and image processing. In continuous-time case, an integrator finds the area under the curve of a signal amplitude. A discrete-time system deals with just the signal samples and hence a discrete-time integrator serves the purpose of collecting a running sum of past samples for an input signal. Looking at an infinitesimally

Continue reading## Phase Locked Loop (PLL) in a Software Defined Radio (SDR)

IBM Watson and Google DeepMind are the most complex computers that, some believe, will try to run the world in a distant future. A PLL on the other hand is the simplest computer that actually runs so much of the world as a fundamental component of intelligent electronic circuits. The PLL was invented by the French engineer Henri de Bellescize in 1932 when he published his first implementation in the French journal L’Onde Electrique. A Phase Locked Loop (PLL) is a device used to synchronize a periodic waveform with a reference periodic waveform. In essence, it is an automatic control

Continue reading## The Fundamental Problem of Synchronization

We have seen in the effect of phase rotation that the matched filter outputs do not map back perfectly onto the expected constellation, even in the absence of noise and no other distortion. Unless this rotation is small enough, it causes the symbol-spaced optimal samples to cross the decision boundary and fall in the wrong decision zone. And even for small rotations, relatively less amount of noise can cause decision errors in this case, i.e., noise margin is reduced. In fact, for higher-order modulation, the rotation becomes even worse because the signals are closely spaced with each other for the

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