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Digital Filter and DSP Stability

# Digital Filter and DSP Stability

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03/18/2014

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Digital Filter and DSP Stabilit y
Introduction

In Chapter 7 we learned to derive the mathematical descriptionT (z) of an IIR digital filter from the mathematical descriptionT (s) of an analog filter. Since IIR digital filters are approximations to corresponding analog filters, they have stability concerns just like any analog system given by

T(s) using Laplace transforms. For analog filters this is not much of a

problem, since their design methods do not give unstable filters. However, if the filter is near instability, slight changes in the system could cause the output to grow without bound for any input. As we will see in Chapter 9, digital IIR filters are usually much more sensitive to numerical tolerances than their analog counterparts.

The consideration of stability will also give the student a deeper insight into how the mathematical descriptionT (z) of a digital filter or DSP system indicates many of the properties of the filter or system without having to code and test it. We show this by relating the stability of digital and analog systems to the pole locations of their transfer functions, and then relating the pole and zero locations ofT (z) to those ofT (s). The poles and zeros ofT (s) allow one to estimate the gain of an analog system using the familiar Bode plots.

8.1
Introduction to Stability
A system, including analog or digital filters, isu nst abl e if its output grows
without bound no matter what the input is, or even without an input but
Digital Filter and DSP Stability
c h a p t e r
8
111

because of initial conditions or noise. For analog systems, if any root of the denominator ofT (s) is in the right half of the s-plane, it is unstable (as well as if there are repeated roots on the imaginary orj w axis). This is shown in Figure 8.1. The methods used to design analog filters do not generate unstable filters, but filters that are near being unstable have initial outputs that may be undesirable. The student will see in Chapter 9 that digital filters are usually much more sensitive to numerical tolerances than analog filters, as well as sensitive to changes in the sample periodT for which it was designed. It would be nice to find a relationship between the denominator roots ofT (z) and digital filter stability, and even a relationship between the z-plane positions and s-plane positions.

An analog system is unstable if its transfer functionT (s) has any root of its denominator, calledp ol e s, in theRH P or right half of the s-plane. Most students are familiar with this from analog signal processing and control systems courses. The transfer functionT (s) is a ratio of polynomials, as is shown in the following equation of a second-order system.

T(s) =3s+ 25
s2+4s +35

Even if the analog filter or system is of higher order, a fundamental property of algebra says that any order polynomial can be factored into products of first- and second-order polynomials with real coefficients. The roots of the denominator control some of the properties of the analog system; their location in the s-plane determines the stability or instability of the analog system. Since digital IIR filters or DSP systems approximate

112
Figure 8.1The hatched area is the unstable region for analog poles ins plane
Re s
0Im s
Digital Signal Processing

the responses of analog systems, they could become unstable or nearly unstable. What is needed is a way to use the considerable knowledge about the pole locations in the s-plane to determine knowledge about the pole locations ofT (z) in the z-plane. This is done in the next section.

8.2
The Z-plane Unit Circle
In Chapter 4 we developed the z-transform of discrete-time signals. In
Table 4.1 we give the z-transformX (z) of a sampled exponential signal
x(n). This is given again in Equation 8.1, where c= e\u2013aT is just a constant.
x(n) = Ae\u2212anT=Ac n
X(z) = A
z
z\u2212e\u2212aT=Az
z\u2212 c
(Equation 8.1)

In the development of the z-transform of the preceding discrete-time signal, there was no restriction put uponc . Usuallyc is real and positive, so thatx(n) is an exponentially decreasing sampled signal. However, it could be thought of as a zero, negative, imaginary, or even complex pole. By doing this, we will see that the poles of the z-transfer functionT (z) tell a lot about the stability and other behavior of the digital filter or DSP system described byT (z).

The ability of poles ofT (z) to give us a qualitative idea about the output of a DSP system or digital filter is explained next. We have seen thatT (z) is the mathematical description of a DSP system, and if it is multiplied by the z-transform of an input we get the z-transform of the sampled output from the computer or DSP chip before it goes into the DAC to be converted back to an analog signal. The following equation shows this again.

Y(z) = T(z)R(z)

Now, a fundamental theorem of algebra\u2014and the student\u2019s experience\u2014 says that the denominator polynomial ofY(z) can be factored into products of first-order polynomials if you allow complex roots. Then using algebra to do a PFE, we could getY(z) to be a sum of terms with a constant in the numerator (timesz) over a factor of the denominator polynomial

113
Digital Filter and DSP Stability