I have two cascaded one-pole sections with the same coefficient b for both sections. $$ y_A[n]=x_A[n]+b\cdot(y_A[n−1]−x_A[n])\\ y_B[n]=y_A[n]+b\cdot(y_B[n−1]−y_A[n]) $$

The final output of the system is $y_B[n]$.

I would like to re-implement the system as one biquad section of the form:

$$ y[n]=a_0x[n]+a_1x[n-1]+a_2x[n-2]-b_1y[n-1]-b_2y[n-2] $$

The final output of the system is $y[n]$.

I would like to know what calculations I have to perform in order to make the output of the biquad exactly match the output of the one-pole cascaded system. $$ y_B[n] = y[n] $$ Obviously the 5 biquad coefficients $a_0\; a_1\; a_2\; b_1\; b_2$ will have to be determined as a function of the $b$ coefficient as found in the cascaded system above.

Can someone lead me through the math?

Thank you.


2 Answers 2


A single one-pole filter satisfies the following difference equation:


which corresponds to this transfer function:


If you cascade two of these systems, the transfer functions are multiplied:


The transfer function in $(3)$ corresponds to the following difference equation for the cascaded system:


Consequently, implementing $(4)$ is equivalent to implementing $(1)$ twice.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's it. I just implemented it and it works like a charm. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2015 at 15:09

You must take the Z-Transform:

$$Y(z) = a_0 X(z) + a_1 z^{-1} X(z) + a_2 z^{-2} X(z) - b_1 z^{-1} Y(z) - b_2 z^{-2} Y(z)$$

Find the transfer function $H(z) = Y(z)/X(z)$

$$H(z) = \frac{a_0 + a_1 z^{-1} + a_2 z^{-2}}{b_1 z^{-1} + b_2 z^{-2}+1}$$

Now factor it out into a product of two biquads (just find the poles and zeros). Then you will have both your sections. Something like this:

$$H(z) = \left (\frac{z+z_0}{z+p_0} \right).\left(\frac{z+z_1}{z+p_1}\right)$$

Remember to group poles and zeros that are close-by!

To do the actual implementation (going back to the time-domain), you can look here:

  1. http://www.iowahills.com/A7ExampleCodePage.html
  2. http://www.engr.colostate.edu/ECE423/lab05/Lab_Notes/Lab_Notes_5.pdf
  3. http://www.disca.upv.es/aperles/arm_cortex_m3/curset/CMSIS/Documentation/DSP/html/group___biquad_cascade_d_f2_t.html
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply, however it doesn't answer my question. I have a one-pole cascaded section that produces the desired output when fed with one b coefficient set to a certain value. I need to find 5 equations (one for each of the 5 biquad coefficients) that calculate a0, a1, a2, b1, b2 in terms of b so that the biquad will generate an output exactly equal to the output of the cascaded one-pole system. So the answer will comprise 5 equations all in terms of b. Each equation will define one of the 5 biquad coefficients. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2015 at 5:29

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