philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


Engineers solve 50-year-old puzzle in signal processing

K94Q-648The FFT algorithm was published in 1965. Four years later, researchers developed a more versatile, generalized version called the chirp z-transform (CZT). But a similar generalization of the inverse FFT algorithm has gone unsolved for 50 years.

Until, that is, Stoytchev and Vladimir Sukhoy – an Iowa State doctoral student co-majoring in electrical and computer engineering, and human computer interaction – worked together to come up with the long-sought algorithm, called the inverse chirp z-transform (ICZT).

Like all algorithms, it’s a step-by-step process that solves a problem. In this case, it maps the output of the CZT algorithm back to its input. The two algorithms are a little like a series of two prisms – the first separates the wavelengths of white light into a spectrum of colors and the second reverses the process by combining the spectrum back into white light, Stoytchev explained.

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