I always prefer to maintain a logical flow of signals and functionality in my PCB layouts. I think that this approach results in an easier design process and a better board. The AWG layout progresses from left to right: from power input and communication input/output, to the power supply circuitry, to the processor, to the DAC (which is controlled by the processor and constitutes the board’s transition from digital to analog), to the analog signal-conditioning circuitry, and finally to the output connector. Parts that don’t have a specific position in the functional flow—such as the oscillator (U4), the DAC’s passives (C16, R5, etc.), and the voltage reference (U3)—are arranged near the components that they support.
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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