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Developments in power electronic switches and low-cost computational hardware have made it possible to design and implement modern control strategies for variable speed drives. Such an attempt has been made in this work for a voltage source inverter-fed synchronous motor (SM) drive. Certain important issues in design including the speed controller, generation of reference currents, state feedback linearization, dynamic control of currents, as well as a reduced order observer have been resolved. The proposed scheme is validated through extensive numerical simulations and a laboratory scale implementation.