Since the finite-impulse-response (FIR) filtering is a common operation in DSP, we will continue our discussion based on examining the difference equation of an FIR filter. This simple example will show the typical properties of many DSP algorithms. After reviewing the problem of handling the incoming samples, we will discuss the circular buffering as an efficient solution to the problem.
When implementing a real-time system, we find a circular buffer critical whether we are using a DSP processor or a general purpose processor (GPP). However, with a GPP we may have to implement the circular buffer in software. As discussed in the previous section, with each new sample, we have to update the pointer which contains the address of the newest sample. With a circular buffer implemented in software, the programmer needs to take care of updating the buffer pointers after each read and write operation. When the pointer reaches the end of the buffer, the program must wrap the pointer back to the beginning of the buffer.
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