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An Ultra High Performance DAC with Controlled Time-Domain Response

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This paper describes the design of an ultra-high performance stereo digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) employing advanced digital filtering techniques. Recently there has been a renewed interest in the time-domain properties of digital filters used for interpolation and decimation. Linear phase FIR filters, which have proliferated digital filter design for the last two decades, have the undesirable properties of pre-ringing and high group delay. Conversely, minimum phase filter filters, which offer lower levels of pre-ringing, do not have a uniform phase response. This paper describes the trade-offs in the design of filters with controlled pre-ringing, coupled with desirable phase and magnitude characteristics. The paper also describes architectural choices in the implementation of the DAC signal processing chain, required to achieve commensurate analogue performance.

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