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Army Public College of Management & Sciences

Department of Electrical Engineering


Submitted By:


Submitted To:

Sir Haroon

Date: 10-04-2014
Difference between IIR and FIR Filters:
IIR vs FIR Filters

IIR filters are difficult to control and have no particular phase, whereas FIR
filters make a linear phase always possible. IIR can be unstable, whereas FIR is
always stable. IIR, when compared to FIR, can have limited cycles, but FIR has no
limited cycles. IIR is derived from analog, whereas FIR has no analog history. IIR
filters make polyphase implementation possible, whereas FIR can always be made

FIR filters are helpful to achieve fractional constant delays. #MAD stands for
a number of multiplications and additions, and is used as a criterion for an IIR and
FIR filter comparison. IIR filters require more #MAD when compared to FIR,
because FIR is of a higher order in comparison to IIR, which is of lower order, and
uses polyphase structures.

FIR filters are dependent upon linear-phase characteristics, whereas IIR

filters are used for applications which are not linear. FIRs delay characteristics is
much better, but they require more memory. On the other hand, IIR filters are
dependent on both i/p and o/p, but FIR is dependent upon i/p only. IIR filters
consist of zeros and poles, and require less memory than FIR filters, whereas FIR
only consists of zeros. IIR filters can become difficult to implement, and also delay
and distort adjustments can alter the poles & zeroes, which make the filters
unstable, whereas FIR filters remain stable. FIR filters are used for tapping of a
higher-order, and IIR filters are better for tapping of lower-orders, since IIR filters
may become unstable with tapping higher-orders.

FIR stands for Finite IR filters, whereas IIR stands for Infinite IR filters. IIR
and FIR filters are utilized for filtration in digital systems. FIR filters are more
widely in use, because they differ in response. FIR filters have only numerators
when compared to IIR filters, which have both numerators and denominators.

Where the system response is infinite, we use IIR filters, and where the
system response is zero, we use FIR filters. FIR filters are also preferred over IIR
filters because they have a linear phase response and are non-recursive, whereas
IIR filters are recursive, and feedback is also involved. FIR cannot simulate analog
filter responses, but IIR is designed to do that accurately. IIRs impulse response
when compared to FIR is infinite.

The high computational efficiency of IIR filters, with short delays, often
make the IIR popular as an alternative. FIR filters have become too long in digital
feedback systems, as well as in other applications, and cause problems.


IIR is infinite and used for applications where linear characteristics are not
of concern.
FIR filters are Finite IR filters which are required for linear-phase
IIR is better for lower-order tapping, whereas the FIR filter is used for
higher-order tapping.
FIR filters are preferred over IIR because they are more stable, and
feedback is not involved.
IIR filters are recursive and used as an alternate, whereas FIR filters have
become too long and cause problems in various applications

Advantages and disadvantages
The main advantage digital IIR filters have over FIR filters is their efficiency
in implementation, in order to meet a specification in terms of band pass, band
stop, ripple, and roll off. Such a set of specifications can be accomplished with a
lower order. IIR filter than would be required for an FIR filter meeting the same
requirements. If implemented in a signal processor, this implies a correspondingly
fewer number of calculations per time step; the computational savings is often of
a rather large factor.

On the other hand, FIR filters can be easier to design, for instance, to match
a particular frequency response requirement. This is particularly true when the
requirement is not one of the usual cases (high-pass, low-pass, notch, etc.) which
have been studied and optimized for analog filters. Also FIR filters can be easily
made to be linear phase. A property that is not easily met using IIR filters and
then only as an approximation. Another issue regarding digital IIR filters is the
potential for limit cycle behavior when idle, due to the feedback system in
conjunction with quantization.