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This paper presents a novel method to design the input filter for a direct ac/ac matrix converter using genetic algorithms (GA) optimization. The input filter for a matrix converter is a very important and critical part of the conversion structure and careful design is necessary to ensure high input power quality, compactness, and stability. The GA will optimize structure and parameters of the input filter as a function of different factors such as energy storage, weight, and volume. The effectiveness of this design method is demonstrated through a wide range of simulations using Saber and experimental results on a laboratory prototype. The same methodology could also be adapted and applied to any converter configuration such as, for example, traditional voltage source converters.