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In the paper a new technique for the implementation of digital adaptive filters is presented, based on the use of a so-called distributed-arithmetic filter architecture which uses no multipliers in its realisation of the filtering function. Two adaptive algorithms suitable for this type of filter structure are developed and computer simulations show the viability of both approaches. A simplified-hardware prototype module has also been constructed which realises an 8-point transversal adaptive filter. Results from this prototype are presented to demonstrate the basic feasibility of the distributed-arithmetic adaptive-filter structure.