# CH21 - CHAPTER 21 Filter Comparison Decisions decisions...

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343 CHAPTER 21 Filter Comparison Decisions, decisions, decisions! With all these filters to choose from, how do you know which to use? This chapter is a head-to-head competition between filters; we'll select champions from each side and let them fight it out. In the first match, digital filters are pitted against analog filters to see which technology is best. In the second round, the windowed-sinc is matched against the Chebyshev to find the king of the frequency domain filters. In the final battle, the moving average fights the single pole filter for the time domain championship. Enough talk; let the competition begin! Match #1: Analog vs. Digital Filters Most digital signals originate in analog electronics. If the signal needs to be filtered, is it better to use an analog filter before digitization, or a digital filter after? We will answer this question by letting two of the best contenders deliver their blows. The goal will be to provide a low-pass filter at 1 kHz. Fighting for the analog side is a six pole Chebyshev filter with 0.5 dB (6%) ripple. As described in Chapter 3, this can be constructed with 3 op amps, 12 resistors, and 6 capacitors. In the digital corner, the windowed-sinc is warming up and ready to fight. The analog signal is digitized at a 10 kHz sampling rate, making the cutoff frequency 0.1 on the digital frequency scale. The length of the windowed-sinc will be chosen to be 129 points, providing the same 90% to 10% roll-off as the analog filter. Fair is fair. Figure 21-1 shows the frequency and step responses for these two filters. Let's compare the two filters blow-by-blow. As shown in (a) and (b), the analog filter has a 6% ripple in the passband, while the digital filter is perfectly flat (within 0.02%). The analog designer might argue that the ripple can be selected in the design; however, this misses the point. The flatness achievable with analog filters is limited by the accuracy of their resistors and

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The Scientist and Engineer's Guide to Digital Signal Processing 344 capacitors. Even if a Butterworth response is designed (i.e., 0% ripple), filters of this complexity will have a residue ripple of, perhaps, 1%. On the other hand, the flatness of digital filters is primarily limited by round-off error, making them hundreds of times flatter than their analog counterparts. Score one point for the digital filter. Next, look at the frequency response on a log scale, as shown in (c) and (d). Again, the digital filter is clearly the victor in both roll-off and stopband attenuation . Even if the analog performance is improved by adding additional stages, it still can't compare to the digital filter. For instance, imagine that you need to improve these two parameters by a factor of 100. This can be done with simple modifications to the windowed-sinc, but is virtually impossible for the analog circuit. Score two more for the digital filter.
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CH21 - CHAPTER 21 Filter Comparison Decisions decisions...

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