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The Z-transform

 Recall that the DTFT is

jω − jω n
X (e ) = ∑ x[ n ]e
n = −∞

 Since we are replacing (generalizing) the complex exponential

building blocks e jωn by z n , a reasonable extension of X(e jω )
would be

X(z) = ∑ x[n]z −n
n=−∞

 Again, think of this as building up the time function by a

weighted sums of functions z n instead of e jωn
Computing the Z-transform: an example
n
 Example 1: Consider the time function x[ n] = α u[n]

∞ ∞ ∞
−n n −n −1 n
X ( z) = ∑ x[n]z = ∑α z = (α
∑ )z
n=−∞ n=0 n=0

1 z
= −1
=
1 − αz z −α

Another example …
Find the z–transform of the two signals of Figure 1

Solution:
Figure 1
The importance of the region of convergence

 The region of convergence (ROC).

 In Example 1, the sum X(z) = ∑ α n z −n converges only for z>α
n=0

 So in general, we must specify not only the Z-transform

corresponding to a time function, but its ROC as well.
What shapes are ROCs for Z-transforms?

 In Example 1, the ROC was | z |>| α | We can represent this

graphically as:
General form of ROCs

 In general, there are four types of ROCs for Z-transforms, and

they depend on the type of the corresponding time functions
 Four types of time functions:
– Right-sided
– Left-sided
– “Both”-sided (infinite duration)
– Finite duration
Right-sided time functions

 Right-sided time functions are of the form x[n] = 0, n < n0

(as in Example 1). ROCs are of the form | α |<| z |

 Comment: All causal LSI systems have unit sample responses that
are right-sided, although not all right-sided sample responses
correspond to causal systems.
Left-sided time functions

ROCs are of the form | z |<| α | except that it is

possible that they
don’t include z = 0
“Both”-sided (infinite-duration) time functions

 Right-sided time functions are of the form x[n] ≠ 0 for all n

(as in x[n] = α n , α < 1 ). ROCs are of the form α < z < β , an
annulus bounded by α and β, exclusive.
An example of a “both-sided” time function

n n
 Consider the function α u[n] − β u[−n − 1] with α < β

 Using the results of Examples 1 , we note that

−1 1 z (α − β )
X ( z) = −1
− −1
=
1 − βz 1 − αz ( z − α )( z − β )

 The ROC is α < z < β , which is the region of “overlap” of the

ROCs of the z-transforms of the two terms of the time function
taken individually.
Finite-duration time functions

 Finite-duration time functions are of the form x[n] ≠ 0, n1 < n < n2

ROCs include the entire z-plane except possibly z = 0
Stability and the ROC

 It can be shown that an LSI system is stable if the ROC

includes the unit circle (UC), which is the locus of points for
which z = 1

 Comment: this is exactly the same condition that is required

for the DTFT X (e jω ) to exist
Causality, stability and the ROC

 Recall that for a system to be causal the sample response

must be right-sided, and the ROC must be the outside of some
circle.
 Hence, for a system to be both causal and stable, the ROC
must be the outside of a circle that is inside the UC.

 In other words, if an LSI system is both causal and stable, the

ROC will be of the form z > α with α < 1
The inverse Z-transform

 Did you notice that we didn’t talk about inverse z-transforms

yet?
 It can be shown that the inverse z-transform can be formally
expressed as
1
x[n] = ∫ X(z)z n−1dz
2πj

– Unlike the DTFT, this integral is over a complex variable, z and we

need complex residue calculus to evaluate it formally
– The contour of integration, c, is a circle around the origin that lies inside
the ROC
Mapping the s-plane to the z-plane