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Digital integrator is a highly useful and viable circuit because of its simplicity. To employ it successfully requires some care, and an understanding of poles right on the unit circle.

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**The Digital Integrator
**

X(z) ∑ Y(z)

Z -1

Figure 1.

Introduction

There is not much in standard DSP texts about the marginally stable causal circuit shown in Figure 1. What is in the literature sometimes discourages its use. But the digital integrator is a highly useful and viable circuit because of its simplicity. To employ it successfully requires some care, and an understanding of poles right on the unit circle.

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5 15 12.H(z ) = 1/(1 . (b) magnitude response.5 -6 -4 -2 -0.5 (a) -1 -0.z.5 O 0.5 -1 (2 |Sin[ ω/2]|).5 10 7.5 -2 -1 1 2 ArcTan[2 Sin2 [ω/2].5 -2 2 4 6 ω/π ω/π (b) (c) Figure 2. (a) Pole/zero constellation. 2 .5 -1 -1.5 5 2. -Sin[ω]] / π ∞ 2 1.1 ∞ 17.5 1 0.5 X 1 Re z -0.1) Im z 1 (A) 0. (c) phase response of the digital integrator.

(B) from which we see that y[n]={1. why the disagreement in their mean? The anomaly is resolved when we realize that the transient response of this circuit never decays because the pole of H(z) is right on the unit circle. The output is given by Equ.–1/2. we must preferentially evaluate it (instead of H(z) alone) when considering circuits such as this 3 . y[ n ] = n Yet if we evaluate H(z) from Equ.1. Hence. let’s start with a question about what happens when we input the unbounded energy signal x[n] = cos(π n) u[n] into the digital integrator shown in Figure 1. to find the output we must consider what is called the zero state response (ZSR) instead of the forced response to a sinusoid. 1.…} which we recognize as the highest-frequency (z=–1) sinusoidal signal that can be input to the circuit.–1/2. The zero state response is simply given in the transform domain by Y(z) = X(z) H(z) or Y(e jω) = X(e j ω) H (e j ω) (C) Because it is the ZSR which always governs the complete response of any linear circuit. 1/2.–1/2.0.…} . we find that the frequency response for this input sinusoid is simply H(-1)=1/2 .(A).0. 1.…} . So we might expect that the output y[n] would instead Though each oscillates at the same frequency. 1/2.1.–1. For stable circuits that means that any transient response died out long ago. what is determined by evaluating H(z) for some zo on the unit circle. x[ k ] k=0 (B) equal {1/2. The magnitude and phase response is the forced response.–1. and is what is shown in Figure 2. The forced response is the response to a sinusoid of infinite extent in positive and negative time. Another way to write this input is x[n]={1.0.–1.1 Theoretical To motivate the study of this simple circuit.

For stable filters. the zero input response (ZIR).. from the transient response of the circuit itself. h[n] = u[n] nonzero initial states.2 i. i. 2 Laplace has proven that a very large class of signals may be described as sums of exponentials.e.1 Fortunately. this sorting of the forced and transient responses is a simple task when the input signal has an exponential form. 4 . The ZSR in the time domain is y[n] = (e j πn u[n]) 1/2 + 1/2 u[n] where H(zo) = H(-1) = 1/2 and X(zp) = X(1) = 1/2 . This class is larger than and includes the Fourier class.e. hence we ignore the transient response that would be produced by . hence we are usually just concerned with the forced response.e. i. we are accustomed to the transient response decaying to zero over time.. i. energy at the frequency (and radius) of the system poles which is elicited by the input signal. That way we may continue to work with the familiar paradigm of the forced response. One way to work with the ZSR is by sorting out the contribution of the forcing input.e. this X(z) corresponds to a discrete complex sinusoid that begins at absolute time 0. H(z) = z/(z – zp ) Y(z) = X(z) H(zo) + X(zp ) H(z) transient response .having poles anywhere on the unit circle. 1 We are considering only the ZSR. The transient response is that part of the complete response which is produced by the system itself. x[n] = e j ωon u[n] for zo = e j ωo .. not so for this filter. when the input signal has a z transform that looks like X(z) = z/(z – zo) . zo≠ zp (D) For a signal of this simple form and an equally simple filter = forced response + = X(z) H(z) When zo falls on the unit circle. the Laplace transform. ωo = 2π ƒoT .

systems of that more typical kind (stable. causal ) always produce bounded output energy for bounded input energy (BIBO).. an output signal of bounded amplitude but infinite in duration. A related observation arises from viewing only the magnitude response in Figure 2(b) which displays a pole right on the unit circle.e. It appears that an input signal having any nonzero bounded energy at the frequency of the marginal system pole will emerge having unbounded output energy . and vice versa for the real part. Only an input signal itself having unbounded energy at the same frequency as the marginal system pole will produce an unbounded output amplitude. the ZSR gives the complete output.. Hence to answer the question as originally posed for x[n] = cos(π n) u[n ] = Re{ e j ωon u[n] } .2.4] [Tuttle.e. i. the output will blow up.ch.Linear Because only a system which is initially at rest can be a linear system.3 3 Note that this principle does not apply to poles which are inside the unit circle. that means. i. Because the system is linear. we can say that an imaginary input is responsible for the imaginary output of our system.ch. we take the real part of the previously calculated output y[n] = (cos(π n) u[n ]) 1/2 + 1/2 u[n] Blowing Up To blow up in this context means an unbounded output amplitude given a bounded input amplitude.2. [O&S.14] 5 .

Therefore the complete response is not as large as might be predicted from the forced response alone. Specifically. Y(z) = X(z) H(zp + jε) Then X(zp) H(z) + Y( z ) = zp + ε z z − ( zp + ε ) ε ( )− zp z ε z − zp (E) We see from Equ. That information is not readily ascertained from viewing the frequency response (the forced response in the frequency domain). they are individually large. lim Y ( z ) = z zp z + z − zp ( z − zp ) 2 ε→0 ε→0 ? lim y[ n ] = ( 1 + n ) zn p u[ n ] (F) Equ. the output y [n] has unbounded energy due to the transient response. in general. 4 Another typical characteristic of the transient response. is that its sign is such that it acts to diminish the forced response.(F) corresponds to a ramp() when |zp| = 1 . let’s input an exponential signal whose frequency is very close to but not equal to the pole frequency. the system can easily produce output signals having bounded amplitude but unbounded energy. (as the input frequency and pole frequency become the same) the output will grow in amplitude without bound. As ε approaches zero. 6 . Only when the system is continually excited at the precise frequency of that pole can the system produce an output of unbounded amplitude. In summary. albeit.Let’s see if we can support these assertions with our simple system and exponential input.(E) that neither the forced response nor the transient response are necessarily growing in amplitude without bound. let zo = zp + jε .4 Because the system pole zp is on the unit circle. when the magnitude response of a system goes to infinity. indicating a pole on the unit circle.

Consider a bounded energy signal input x[n]={1. The assertion is that this input signal will not produce an unbounded energy signal when put through the integrator system shown in Figure 2. 7 . Notice the zero at dc. Im z 1 O O O 1 0.–1. 1.5 -1 -0.Not Blowing Up The converse of this principle is that any input signal of bounded energy but having zero energy (a zero) at the frequency of the marginal system pole. an input signal having a zero which cancels a system pole on the unit circle.–1. From Equ.5 *X* 0.(B) we easily see that the output terminates at a value of 0 . 1. In other words. Pole/zero constellation of input. will cancel the transient response due to that pole. whose pole/zero constellation is shown in Figure A.–1} to our digital integrator.5 O -1 O Figure A. will emerge having bounded output energy and bounded amplitude.5 Re z -0.

then the output signal will have unbounded amplitude.(B) it is readily ascertained that the output of the digital integrator terminates with the value 1.5 O 0. then an input signal of bounded energy having any energy at a frequency equal to the pole frequency will emerge having bounded output energy. then an input signal of bounded energy having energy at a frequency equal to the marginal pole frequency will emerge as a transient response of unbounded output energy. unbounded output energy.–1. From Equ.5 O O -1 Figure B. 1} having the constellation Im z O 1 0. So we may conclude: Rule 1) Stable Systems: If system pole is not on the unit circle.5 1 Re z -1 -0. If an input signal has bounded energy but has a zero at the marginal pole frequency. then the output signal will have unbounded energy at the frequencies of the input and the system pole. If the input signal has unbounded energy but not at the marginal pole frequency.–1. x[n]={1. then the output signal will have bounded energy. consider the input shown in Figure B. consequently. If the input signal has unbounded energy at the marginal pole frequency. Pole/zero constellation of input. 8 . Rule 2) Marginally Stable Systems: If system pole is right on the unit circle. 1.To belabor this point.5 *X* -0.

X( z ) ≡ ? H( z ) ≡ k ? Y( z ) = X( z ) H( z ) = In another filter form. and the input signal is of infinite duration. 1 − zp z− 1 kp ∈ C ? Y( z ) = X( z ) H( z ) = X i ( z ) H ( zi ) + X ( zp ) H p ( z ) i p 9 . Hp ( z ) = p kp . Xi ( z ) = i ki . 1 − zi z− 1 ki ∈ C H( z ) ≡ Hp ( z ) . Xi ( z ) . Xi ( z ) = ? i ki .k∈R p X i ( z ) H ( zi ) + i p X ( zp ) H ( z ) ( 1 − zp z− 1 ) | z = zp 1 ( 1 − zp z−1 ) X( z ) ≡ Xi ( z ) . 1 − zi z− 1 ki ∈ C 1 − zop z− 1 1 − zp z− 1 . Assuming all zi and zp are distinct.Partial Fraction Expansion These two rules are partially verified in the equation below which indicates the forced/transient response decomposition of the output signal.

Hp ( z ) = p kp . [Churchill] 10 . Xi ( z ) = i −N X vi ( z ) ( 1 − zN ) i z ∆ . The values outside are from the analytic continuation of the respective function.For completeness. hence evaluation of a function X or H outside its region of convergence is permitted. 1 − zp z− 1 kp ∈ C i X vi ( z ) H ( zi ) + p −N X vi ( zp ) H p ( z ) ( 1 − zN ) i z All these equations are algebraic in derivation. X vi ( z ) = i ki −N . ( 1 − zN ) i z − 1 1 − zi z ki 1 − zi z− 1 ki ∈ C Hp ( z ) . we digress for a finite-duration input signal xi [ n ] = ki zn i ( u[ n ] − u[ n − N ] ) . X( z ) = ? X( z ) = ? H( z ) = ? Y( z ) = X( z ) H( z ) = Xi ( z ) .

That equation is often found written instead with the caveat z≠1 for finite n . then the same argument as for f(x) can be made. Since when z=1.(1) can be factored into a form having a term equivalent to the denominator. 0 < |z| < ∞ (1) important to note at the outset that equation (1) is an identity and not the result of some limiting condition. The series represents the z transform of the impulse response of the discrete-time integrator. It is n z− k = k=0 1 − z− ( n + 1 ) 1 − z− 1 . 11 . x≠ 0 .5 5 A simpler explanation of the anomaly above would consider the erroneous statement f(x) = x4/x .1.1 Finite n H( z ) = Equation (1) gives the closed form for the sum of a finite-length geometric series. We can show that caveat to be an incorrect interpretation by invoking l’Hopital’s rule which states that z→1 lim { d − ( n+1 ) ) 1 − z− ( n + 1 ) dz ( 1 − z = lim lim { ( n + 1 ) z− n } = n + 1 =z − 1 d − 1 → 1 z 1−z dz ( 1 − z ) → 1 } (2) Hence the ROC for the finite-length causal discrete integration spans the entire z plane with the exception of z=0 (n > 0). the numerator of Equ.

H(z) diverges. H ( z ) | | z | = 1 = H ( e jω ) = 1 − e− j ω ( n + 1 ) 1 − e− j ω (4) 12 .2 Infinite n As n → ∞ in equation (1) it is natural to ask what that limit is. n → ∞ : From (1). Case 3) z = 1. H (z) is divergent. n → ∞ : From equation (1) we see that the summation H(z) is absolutely convergent. We consider four cases: Case 1) |z| > 1. Consider the summation (1) upon the unit circle (but not at z = 1) as a function of n . Case 2) |z| < 1. which is often said because it is neither true that H(z) converges on the unit circle. viz. z ≠ 1. It is erroneous to say that it diverges on the unit circle..1. n → ∞ : This is the most interesting case. the summation H(z) does not diverge on the unit circle except at the point z=1 . What the summation H (z) does on the unit circle is to vacillate with ever increasing n . n → ∞ : n→∞ lim [ H ( z ) |z = 1 ] = ∞ (3) Because of the limit in (2). Strictly speaking. Case 4) |z| = 1.

quite large for large n and some ω). 13 .(4) when |z|=1+ . We can ascribe a unique value to H(e j ω) Equ. Depending upon whether n is even or odd.(1) to Equ. at the normalized radian frequency ω =π . Indeed.(4) H(e jω) must always be finite (albeit. ω=π/2 where the summation (4) can only assume the values {1. Consider the behavior of the summation. For the discrete-time integrator on the unit circle. 1–j.(4) can only assume the value 1 or 0 . –j . the z transform Equ. That quality makes the discrete-time integrator usable (and useful ) for very practical purposes.. The limit of |z| that we take is to 1 plus an infinitesimal positive quantity.(1) is simply the discrete-time Laplace transform.The numerator of (4) has limited magnitude for all non-negative n while the denominator magnitude spans the range (0. we denote that as 1+ . Since the denominator is constrained never to be zero for this case. we shall assign the values of Equ. the Next consider the frequency summation Equ. H (e j ω) is not convergent in those two instances. then the summation Equ.e. i. but neither does it diverge. The convergence factor is already contained within the complex variable z because z ≡ e sT where the Laplace variable s equals σ+j Ω . But that is just the idea behind the Laplace transform. for example. 0}.2] .(4) at each ω by introducing a convergence factor and then performing a limiting operation for n → ∞ .

Equ. ω = 0. to use the discrete-time integrator in a practical circuit.(5) would blow up at dc as n → ∞ . the ROC for the infinite-length causal discrete-time integrator H(z) has lost the interior of the unit disk in the z plane. but H(z) does not diverge on the unit circle except at z=1 .2. H ( z ) ||z| = 1 = H ( e jω ) ≡ 1 1 − e− jω .6) So. 14 .(5) to the corresponding Fourier transform. All these cases are distilled in Equ. z = 1 (6) 6 The Fourier transform of the discrete-time integrator is [O&S. The ROC is now 1 < |z| < ∞ . n → ∞ (5) for all practical purposes. In summary.(5) can still reach infinity if ω were allowed to be 0 (case 3).(4) and Equ. | z | = 1. (We note the similarity of Equ. | z | > 1. infinite n .7] 1/(1 – e –jω ) + π ∑k δ(ω + 2πk) Everyone seems to agree that Equ.ch.(6) for H( z ) = ∞ z− k ≡ k=0 1 1 − z− 1 .We say then. we must take certain precautions (discussed shortly) .

or 2) all transfer functions from all sources terminating at the input to the integrator must have a zero of transmission at dc. either by the transfer function across the embedded integrator or the transfer function leading up to it. When one of these conditions is met.2 Practical The discrete-time integrator becomes the digital integrator when finite word-length effects are considered. then the high gains near dc are equalized. This equalization is equivalent to pole/zero cancellation. We show two examples of this type of thing now: 15 . One way to incorporate the digital integrator into a practical circuit is when one of the following two conditions are met: 1) the digital integrator must have a zero of transmission across it at dc.

16 .Example 1 ∑ Iq yq[n+1] Ζ -1 yq[n] x ∑ ε eq[n] ∑ x y[n] ε I e[n] Ζ -1 y[n+1] ∑ Figure 3. the result is the same. Y[z]/I[z] and Yq[z]/Iq[z] both have a term 1–z–1 in the numerator.or post-accumulation. that is. In Figure 3 we show the Gordon/Smith oscillator. Second Modified Coupled Form Sinusoidal Oscillator showing noise sources.Part 3. The circuit in Figure 3 has no other inputs as it is the zero input response (ZIR) that we desire from an oscillator.7] Both integrators in this design have a zero of transmission across it at dc.Sec. [Effect Design. The signals e[n] and eq[n] represent preaccumulation truncation noise sources. Whether or not these sources appear pre. they are each subject to a zero of transmission at dc while passing through the first-encountered integrator.

but integrator 2 does not.Example 2 X(z) ∑ hp Fc x ∑ 1 . It can be shown that when both integrators retain double precision in their feedback loops. then integrator 2 has no signal arriving at its input having dc content. In Figure 4 we show the all pole filter discussed in [Effect Design. 17 . Chamberlin Filter Topology. Integrator 1 has a zero of transmission across it at dc as in the previous example.Qc Ζ -1 bp Fc x ∑ 2 lp Y(z) x bpq Ζ -1 Figure 4.Part I].

3) what is meant by "energy at a frequency"? 4) Reference. Prentice-Hall. Part 1: Reverberator and Other Filters’. McClellan.com/ [Churchill] Ruel V. Orlando. Inc. Schafer. Englewood Cliffs. Schafer. [Tuttle] David F.) ZSR..259 18 . 1977.. Continuous & Discrete Signal & System Analysis.prenhall. Englewood Cliffs. third edition. Saunders College Publishing.. fifth edition. ‘Effect Design.Part 1] Jon Dattorro. Mark A. Huge? yes. pp. Josh at CCRMA. Cooper. Inc. 2) (Example of sinusoid input near DC. ‘Effect Design. James Ward Brown. Yoder.660-684. pg. Prentice-Hall.45. March 2002. Internet: http://www. 1989. vol. NJ 07632 USA. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. DSP First. Inc. McClellan. McGillem. Jr. Rinehart and Winston. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. Tuttle. Complex Variables and Applications. 1997 September. no.References [M&C] Clare D. Notes for possible revisions: 1) Do IFT of frequency domain expression for integrator impulse response (in the footnotes above).prenhall. Ronald W.3. Discrete-Time Signal Processing. George R. Internet: http://www. Oppenheim. Part 3: Oscillators: Sinusoidal and Pseudonoise’.. Churchill. FL 32887 USA [O&S] Alan V. [Effect Design. DSP FIRST. exp. Circuits. vol. a Multimedia Approach. McGraw-Hill. Inc. NJ 07632 USA.com/ [Effect Design. sin. Holt.50. Ronald W.Part 3] Jon Dattorro. no.9. 1998. McGraw-Hill Book Company [First] James H. 1991. 1990.

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