Generate real or complex sinusoidal signals—optimized for HDL code generation
DSP System Toolbox HDL Support / Signal Operations
DSP System Toolbox HDL Support / Sources
The NCO HDL Optimized block generates real or complex sinusoidal signals, while providing hardwarefriendly control signals.
A numericallycontrolled oscillator (NCO) accumulates a phase increment and uses the quantized output of the accumulator as the index to a lookup table that contains the sine wave values. The wrap around of the fixedpoint accumulator and quantizer data types provide periodicity of the sine wave, and quantization reduces the necessary size of the table for a given frequency resolution.
For an example of how to generate a sine wave using the NCO HDL Optimized block, see Generate a Sine Wave. For more information on configuration and implementation, refer to the Algorithms section.
The block also provides these features:
Optional framebased output.
A lookup table compression option to reduce the lookup table size. This compression results in less than one LSB loss in precision. See Lookup Table Compression for more information.
An optional input port for external dither.
An optional reset port that resets the phase accumulator to its initial value.
An optional output port for the current NCO phase.
Note
This block appears in the Sources libraries with
Phase increment source parameter set to
Property
. The only input port is
valid.
This block appears in the Signal Operations libraries
with Phase increment source parameter set to
Input port
. This configuration shows the
optional input port inc.
This icon shows the optional ports of the NCO HDL Optimized block.
inc
— Phase increment (optional)Phase increment, specified as a scalar integer. The block casts this value to match the accumulator word length.
double
and single
data types are
supported for simulation but not for HDL code generation.
To enable this port, set the Phase increment
source parameter to Input
port
.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 fixdt([],N,0)
offset
— Phase offset (optional)Phase offset, specified as a scalar integer.
double
and single
data types are
supported for simulation but not for HDL code generation.
To enable this port, set the Phase offset
source parameter to Input
port
.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 fixdt([],N,0)
dither
— Dither (optional)Dither, specified as an integer or a column vector of integers. The length of the vector must equal the Samples per frame parameter value.
double
and single
data types are
supported for simulation but not for HDL code generation.
To enable this port, set the Dither source
parameter to Input port
.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 int64
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 uint64
 fixdt([],N,0)
valid
— Control signal that enables NCO operationControl signal that enables NCO operation, specified as a Boolean
scalar. When this signal is 1
, the block increments
the phase and captures any input values. When this signal is
0
, the block holds the phase accumulator and
ignores any input values.
When the Samples per frame parameter is greater
than 1
, this value enables processing of
Samples per frame samples.
Data Types: Boolean
reset accum
— Control signal that resets the accumulator (optional)Control signal that resets the accumulator, specified as a Boolean
scalar. When this signal is 1
, the block resets the
accumulator to its initial value. This signal does not reset the output
samples in the pipeline.
To enable this port, select the Enable accumulator reset input port parameter.
Data Types: Boolean
sin, cos, exp
— Generated waveformGenerated waveform, returned as a scalar or as a column vector with
length equal to the Samples per frame parameter
value. The output can be a single port that returns
sin or cos values, a
single port that returns exp values representing
cosine + j*sine
, or two ports that return
sin and cos values,
respectively. When all input values are fixedpoint type or all input
ports are disabled, the block determines the output type using the
Output data type parameter. When any input
value is floatingpoint type, the block ignores the Output
data type parameter. In this case, the block returns the
waveform as floatingpoint values.
Floatingpoint data types are supported for simulation but not for HDL code generation.
By default, this output port is a sine wave, sin. The port label and format changes based on the Type of output signal parameter.
phase
— Current phase of NCO (optional)Current phase of NCO, returned as a scalar or as a column vector with length equal to the Samples per frame parameter value. The phase is the output of the quantized accumulator with offset and increment applied. If quantization is disabled, this port returns the output of the accumulator with offset and increment applied.
The values are of type fixdt(1,N,0)
, where
N
is the Number of quantizer
accumulator bits parameter value. If quantization is
disabled, then N
is the Accumulator Word
length parameter value. If any input value is
floatingpoint type, the block returns the phase as
a floatingpoint value.
Floatingpoint data types are supported for simulation but not for HDL code generation.
To enable this port, select the Enable phase port parameter.
Data Types: single
 double
 fixdt(1,N,0)
valid
— Control signal that indicates validity of output dataControl signal that indicates validity of output data, returned as a
Boolean scalar. When output valid is
1
, the values on the sin,
cos, exp, and
phase ports are valid. When output
valid is 0
, the values on
the output ports are not valid.
When the Samples per frame parameter is greater
than 1
, this signal indicates the validity of all
elements in the output vector.
Data Types: Boolean
Note
This block supports double
and single
input for simulation but not for HDL code generation. When all input values are
fixedpoint type or all input ports are disabled, the block determines the
output type using the Output data type parameter. When any
input value is floatingpoint type, the block ignores the Output data
type parameter. In this case, the block returns the waveform and
optional phase as floatingpoint values.
To use the FixedPoint Designer™ data type override feature, you can obtain a
double
output value by applying double
input data to one of the optional ports.
Phase increment source
— Source of phase incrementInput port
(default)  Property
You can set the phase increment with an input port or by entering a
value for the parameter. If you select
Property
, the Phase
increment parameter appears for you to enter a value. If
you select Input port
, the
inc port appears on the block.
Phase increment
— Phase increment for generated waveform100
(default)  integerPhase increment for the generated the waveform, specified as an integer. The block casts this value to match the accumulator word length.
To enable this parameter, set the Phase increment
source parameter to
Property
.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 fixdt([],N,0)
Phase offset source
— Source of phase offsetInput port
(default)  Property
You can set the phase offset with an input port or by entering a value
for the parameter. If you select Property
,
the Phase offset parameter appears for you to enter
a value. If you select Input port
, the
offset port appears on the block.
Phase offset
— Phase offset for generated waveform0
(default)  integerPhase offset for the generated waveform, specified as an integer.
To enable this parameter, set the Phase offset
source parameter to
Property
.
Data Types: single
 double
 int8
 int16
 int32
 uint8
 uint16
 uint32
 fixdt([],N,0)
Dither source
— Source of number of dither bitsProperty
(default)  Input port
 None
You can set the dither from an input port or from a parameter. If you
select Property
, the Number of
dither bits parameter appears. If you select
Input port
, a port appears on the block.
If you select None
, the block does not add
dither.
Number of dither bits
— Bits used to express dither4
(default)  positive integerNumber of dither bits, specified as a positive integer.
To enable this parameter, set the Dither
source parameter to
Property
.
Samples per frame
— Vector size for framebased input and output1
(default)  positive integerWhen you set this value to 1
, the block has scalar
input and output. When this value is greater than 1
,
the dither port expects a column vector of length
Samples per frame and the
sin, cos,
exp, and phase ports
return column vectors of length Samples per
frame.
Enable look up table compression method
— Compress the lookup tableoff
(default)  on
By default, the block implements a noncompressed lookup table, and the output of this block matches the output of the NCO block. When you enable this option, the block implements a compressed lookup table. The Sunderland compression method reduces the size of the lookup table, losing less than one LSB of precision. The spurious free dynamic range (SFDR) is empirically 1–3 dB lower than the noncompressed case. The hardware savings of the compressed lookup table allow room to improve performance by increasing the word length of the accumulator and the number of quantize bits. For detail of the compression method, see Algorithms.
Enable accumulator reset input port
— Enable reset control signaloff
(default)  on
Select this parameter to enable the reset accum
port. When reset accum is 1
, the
block resets the accumulator to its initial value.
Type of output signal
— Format of output waveformSine
(default)  Cosine
 Complex exponential
 Sine and cosine
If you select Sine
or
Cosine
, the block shows the applicable
port, sin or cos. If you
select Complex exponential
, the output is of
the form cosine + j*sine
and the port is labeled
exp. If you select Sine and
cosine
, the block shows two ports,
sin and cos.
Enable phase port
— Output current phaseoff
(default)  on
Select this parameter to return the current NCO phase on the phase port. The phase is the output of the quantized accumulator, with offset and increment applied. If quantization is disabled, this port returns the output of the accumulator, with offset and increment applied.
Rounding Mode
— Rounding mode for fixedpoint operationsFloor
(default)Rounding
mode for fixedpoint operations. Rounding
Mode is a readonly parameter with value
Floor
.
Overflow mode
— Overflow mode for fixedpoint operationsWrap
(default)Overflow mode for fixedpoint operations. Overflow mode is a readonly parameter. Fixedpoint numbers wrap around on overflow.
Accumulator Data Type
— Accumulator data typeBinary point
scaling
(default)Accumulator data type description. This parameter is readonly, with
value Binary point scaling
. The block defines
the fixedpoint data type using the Accumulator
Signed, Accumulator Word length, and
Accumulator Fraction length parameters.
Accumulator Signed
— Signed or unsigned accumulator data formatSigned
(default)This parameter is readonly. All output is signed format.
Accumulator Word length
— Accumulator word length16
(default)  integerUnits are in bits. This value must include the sign bit.
If you clear the Quantize phase parameter, then Accumulator word length determines the LUT size. For HDL code generation, the LUT size must be between 2 and 2^{17} entries. When you select Enable look up table compression method, this parameter must be an integer in the range [5,21]. When you clear Enable look up table compression method, this parameter must be an integer in the range [3,19]. For more information on how this parameter affects the LUT size, see the Algorithms section.
When you select the Quantize phase parameter, there is no limit to the Accumulator word length parameter value.
Accumulator Fraction length
— Accumulator fraction length0
(default)  integerThis parameter is readonly. The accumulator fraction length is zero bits.
The accumulator operates on integers. If the phase increment is
fixdt
type with a fractional part, the block
returns an error.
Quantize phase
— Quantize accumulated phaseoff
(default)  on
When you select Quantize phase, the block quantizes the result of the phase accumulator to a fixed bitwidth. The block uses this quantized value to select a waveform value from the lookup table. Quantizing the output of the phase accumulator enables you to reduce the lookup table size without lowering the frequency resolution. Select the size of the lookup table by using the Number of quantizer accumulator bits parameter.
When you clear Quantize phase, the block uses the full accumulator value as the address of the lookup table.
Number of quantizer accumulator bits
— Number of quantizer accumulator bits12
(default)  integerNumber of quantizer accumulator bits, specified as an integer scalar less than the accumulator word length. For HDL code generation, this parameter value must result in a LUT size between 2 and 2^{17} entries. When you select Enable look up table compression method, this parameter must be an integer in the range [5,21]. When you clear Enable look up table compression method, this parameter must be an integer in the range [3,19]. For more information on how this parameter affects the LUT size, see the Algorithms section.
To enable this parameter, select the Quantize phase parameter.
Output Data Type
— Output data typeBinary point
scaling
(default)  double
 single
Specify the data type for the sin, cos, and exp ports. This parameter is ignored if any input is of floatingpoint type. In that case, the output data type is floatingpoint.
If you select Binary point scaling
, the
block defines the fixedpoint data type using the Output
Signed, Output Word length, and
Output Fraction length parameters.
Output Signed
— Signed or unsigned output data formatSigned
(default)This parameter is readonly. All output is signed format.
Output Word length
— Output word length16
(default)  integerUnits are in bits. This value must include the sign bit.
Output Fraction length
— Output fraction length14
(default)  integerUnits are in bits.
The frequency resolution of the sine wave depends on the size of the accumulator. Given a sample time, T_{s}, and the desired output frequency resolution Δf, calculate the necessary accumulator word length, N.
$$N=\mathrm{ceil}\left({\mathrm{log}}_{2}\left(\frac{1}{{T}_{s}\cdot \Delta f}\right)\right)$$
For a desired output frequency F_{o}, calculate the phase increment.
$$phaseincrement=\mathrm{round}({F}_{0}{T}_{s}{2}^{N})$$
Quantizing the output of the phase accumulator enables you to reduce the lookup table size without lowering the frequency resolution. Calculate the quantized word length to achieve a desired spurious free dynamic range (SFDR).
$$Q=\mathrm{ceil}\left(\frac{SFDR12}{6}\right)$$
Phase offset and dither are optionally added at the accumulator stage. For a desired phase offset (in radians) of the output waveform, calculate the phase offset value that the block adds in the accumulator.
$$phaseoffset=\frac{{2}^{N}\cdot desiredphaseoffset}{2\pi}$$
The NCO implementation depends on whether you select Enable look up table compression method.
Without lookup table compression, the block uses the same quartersine lookup table as the NCO block. The size of the LUT is 2^{Q2}×W bits, where Q is Number of quantizer accumulator bits and W is Output word length.
The block casts the phase increment value to match the accumulator word length.
If you do not enable Quantize phase, then Q = N, where N is Accumulator Word length. Consider the impact on simulator memory and hardware resources when you select these parameters.
For an example of how to generate a sine wave using the NCO HDL Optimized block, see Generate a Sine Wave.
When you select lookup table (LUT) compression, the NCO HDL Optimized block applies the Sunderland compression method. Sunderland techniques use trigonometric identities to divide each phase of the quarter sine wave into three components and express it as:
$$\mathrm{sin}(A+B+C)=\mathrm{sin}(A+B)\mathrm{cos}(C)+\mathrm{cos}(A)\mathrm{cos}(B)\mathrm{sin}(C)\mathrm{sin}(A)\mathrm{sin}(B)\mathrm{sin}(C)$$
If the quartersine phase has Q2
bits, then
the phase components A and B have a word
length of
LA=LB=ceil((Q2)/3)
.
Phase component C contains the remaining phase bits. If the phase
has 12 bits, then the quarter sine phase has 10 bits, and the components are defined
as:
A, the four most significant bits
$$(0\le A\le \frac{\pi}{2})$$
B, the next four bits
$$(0\le B\le \frac{\pi}{2}\times {2}^{4})$$
C, the remaining two least significant bits
$$(0\le C\le \frac{\pi}{2}\times {2}^{}{}^{8})$$
Given the relative sizes of A, B, and C, the equation can be approximated by:
$$\mathrm{sin}(A+B+C)\approx \mathrm{sin}(A+B)+\mathrm{cos}A\mathrm{sin}C$$
The NCO HDL Optimized block implements this equation with one LUT for $$\mathrm{sin}(A+B)$$ and one LUT for $$\mathrm{cos}(A)\mathrm{sin}(C)$$. The second term is a fine correction factor that you can truncate to fewer bits without losing precision. Therefore, the second LUT returns a fourbit result.
With the default accumulator size of 16 bits, and the default quantized phase width of 12 bits, the LUTs use 2^{8}×16 plus 2^{6}×4 bits (4.5 kb). For comparison, a quartersine lookup table without compression uses 2^{10}×16 bits (16 kb). The compression approximation is accurate within one LSB, resulting in an SNR of at least 60 dB on the output. See [1].
The block has two input control signals, reset accum
(optional) and valid, and one output control signal,
valid. When reset accum is
1
, the block sets the phase accumulator to its initial value.
When the input valid is 1
, the block
increments the phase and captures any input values. When this signal is
0
, the block holds the phase accumulator and ignores any
input values. When the output valid signal is
1
, the values on the other output ports are valid.
The latency of the NCO HDL Optimized block is six cycles.
Behavior changed in R2020a
In previous releases, the input validIn port of the NCO HDL Optimized block was optional. It is now required, and renamed valid. If you are using no other input ports, the block uses the valid signal as an enable signal.
Behavior changed in R2020a
The output waveform returned from floatingpoint input values has changed. The output waveform now matches that returned from the same input values specified in fixedpoint types.
Prior to R2020a, when using floatingpoint input types, the NCO HDL Optimized block did not quantize the phase internally. The block expected floatingpoint phase increment and phase offset inputs specified in radians. Now, the block quantizes the phase internally, and you must specify the input phase increment and offset in terms of the quantized size, for both floatingpoint and fixedpoint input types.
For example, prior to R2020a, for a floatingpoint HDL NCO to generate output samples with a desired output frequency of F_{0} and sample frequency of F_{s}, you had to specify the phase increment as 2π(F_{0}/F_{s}) and phase offset as π/2.
Starting in R2020a, you must specify the phase increment and phase offset in terms of the quantized size, N. These input values are the same as the input values you use with fixedpoint types. Specify the phase increment as (F_{0}×2^{N})/F_{s}, and the phase offset as (π/2)×2^{N}/2π, or 2^{N}/4.
Behavior changed in R2020a
In previous releases, you could choose from two options for the
LUTRegisterResetType parameter on the HDL Block
Properties dialog of the NCO HDL Optimized block. The
two options were default
, and
none
. Starting in R2020a, the block ignores the
parameter setting and uses none
for this parameter value.
This option does not connect a reset signal to the LUT registers. This configuration
enables the synthesis tool to determine whether to implement the lookup tables with
LUTs or BRAM.
[1] Cordesses, L., "Direct Digital Synthesis: A Tool for Periodic Wave Generation (Part 1)." IEEE Signal Processing Magazine. Volume 21, Issue 4, July 2004, pp. 50–54.
This block supports C/C++ code generation for Simulink^{®} accelerator and rapid accelerator modes and for DPI component generation.
HDL Coder™ provides additional configuration options that affect HDL implementation and synthesized logic.
This block has a single, default HDL architecture.
ConstrainedOutputPipeline  Number of registers to place at
the outputs by moving existing delays within your design. Distributed
pipelining does not redistribute these registers. The default is

InputPipeline  Number of input pipeline stages
to insert in the generated code. Distributed pipelining and constrained
output pipelining can move these registers. The default is

OutputPipeline  Number of output pipeline stages
to insert in the generated code. Distributed pipelining and constrained
output pipelining can move these registers. The default is

When you set Dither source to
Property
, the block adds random dither
every cycle. If you generate a validation model with these settings, a
warning is displayed. Random generation of the internal dither can cause
mismatches between the models. You can increase the error margin for the
validation comparison to account for the difference. You can also
disable dither or set Dither source to
Input port
to avoid this issue.
You cannot use the NCO HDL Optimized block inside a Resettable Synchronous Subsystem (HDL Coder).
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