Software algorithm and hardware design for real-time implementation of new spectral estimator

Ciaccio, Edward J.; Biviano, Angelo B.; Garan, Hasan

Background: Real-time spectral analyzers can be difficult to implement for PC computer-based systems because of the potential for high computational cost, and algorithm complexity. In this work a new spectral estimator (NSE) is developed for real-time analysis, and compared with the discrete Fourier transform (DFT). Method: Clinical data in the form of 216 fractionated atrial electrogram sequences were used as inputs. The sample rate for acquisition was 977 Hz, or approximately 1 millisecond between digital samples. Real-time NSE power spectra were generated for 16,384 consecutive data points. The same data sequences were used for spectral calculation using a radix-2 implementation of the DFT. The NSE algorithm was also developed for implementation as a real-time spectral analyzer electronic circuit board. Results: The average interval for a single real-time spectral calculation in software was 3.29 μs for NSE versus 504.5 μs for DFT. Thus for real-time spectral analysis, the NSE algorithm is approximately 150˟ faster than the DFT. Over a 1 millisecond sampling period, the NSE algorithm had the capability to spectrally analyze a maximum of 303 data channels, while the DFT algorithm could only analyze a single channel. Moreover, for the 8 second sequences, the NSE spectral resolution in the 3-12 Hz range was 0.037 Hz while the DFT spectral resolution was only 0.122 Hz. The NSE was also found to be implementable as a standalone spectral analyzer board using approximately 26 integrated circuits at a cost of approximately $500. The software files used for analysis are included as a supplement, please see the Additional files 1 and 2. Conclusions: The NSE real-time algorithm has low computational cost and complexity, and is implementable in both software and hardware for 1 millisecond updates of multichannel spectra. The algorithm may be helpful to guide radio frequency catheter ablation in real time.


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September 24, 2014