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A new state observer, which is suitable for microprocessor-based motor drives, and its application to suppression control of shaft torsional vibration are described. A distinct feature of the state observer is that a fast-response load torque estimation is obtained by processing the detected motor current and the encoder output pulses by a hardware circuit for each encoder pulse generation. Suppression control of the shaft torsional vibration is achieved by calculating a compensation signal from the estimated load torque with the microprocessor software. A microprocessor-based speed regulator for dc motor drives, which utilizes the state observer and suppression control of the shaft torsional vibration, was developed for evaluation purposes and tested with a 15-kW dc motor. The load torque of the motor can be estimated accurately, even with a 15-Hz vibration frequency, and the torsional vibration can be eliminated with the proposed suppression control.