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Block DC component (offset) from input signal


The dsp.DCBlocker System object™ removes the DC offset from each channel (column) of the input signal. The operation runs over time to continually estimate and remove the DC offset.

To block the DC component of the input signal:

  1. Create the dsp.DCBlocker object and set its properties.

  2. Call the object with arguments, as if it were a function.

To learn more about how System objects work, see What Are System Objects?




dcblker = dsp.DCBlocker creates a DC blocker System object, dcblker, to block the DC component from each channel (column) of the input signal.


dcblker = dsp.DCBlocker(Name,Value) creates a DC blocker System object, dcblker, with each specified property set to the specified value. Enclose each property name in single quotes.

Example: dcblker = dsp.DCBlocker('Algorithm','FIR')


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Unless otherwise indicated, properties are nontunable, which means you cannot change their values after calling the object. Objects lock when you call them, and the release function unlocks them.

If a property is tunable, you can change its value at any time.

For more information on changing property values, see System Design in MATLAB Using System Objects.

Algorithm for estimating DC offset, specified as one of the following:

  • 'IIR' –– The object uses a recursive estimate based on a narrow, lowpass elliptic filter. The Order property sets the order of the filter, and the NormalizedBandwidth property sets its bandwidth. This algorithm typically uses less memory than the FIR algorithm and is more efficient.

  • 'FIR' –– The object uses a nonrecursive, moving average estimate based on a finite number of past input samples. The Length property sets the number of samples. The FIR filter has a linear phase response and does not cause any phase distortion to the signal. The IIR filter requires less memory and is more efficient to implement.

  • 'CIC' –– The object uses a CIC decimator, with a decimation factor of 1, whose differential delay is calculated using the NormalizedBandwidth property. It uses two sections to ensure that the first sidelobe attenuation is at least 25 dB below the main lobe of the filter. This algorithm requires fixed-point inputs and can be used for HDL code generation.

  • 'Subtract mean' –– The object computes the means of the columns of the input matrix, and subtracts the means from the input. This method does not retain state between inputs.

You can visualize the IIR, FIR, and CIC responses by using the fvtool function.

Normalized bandwidth of the IIR or CIC filter, specified as a real scalar greater than 0 or less than 1. The normalized bandwidth is used to estimate the DC component of the input signal.


This property applies only when you set the Algorithm property to 'IIR' or 'CIC'.

Order of the lowpass IIR elliptic filter that is used to estimate the DC level, specified as an integer greater than 3.


This property applies only when you set the Algorithm property to 'IIR'.

Number of past input samples used in the FIR algorithm to estimate the running mean, specified as a positive integer.


This property applies only when you set the Algorithm property to 'FIR'.




dcblkerOut = dcblker(input) removes the DC component from each channel (column) of the input and returns the output.

Input Arguments

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Data input to the DC blocker object, specified as a vector, matrix, or N-D array.

Example: t = (0:0.001:100)'; x = sin(30*pi*t) + 1;

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | fi
Complex Number Support: Yes

Output Arguments

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Signal with DC component removed, returned as a vector, matrix, or N-D array.The output dimensions match the input dimensions.

Data Types: single | double | int8 | int16 | int32 | fi
Complex Number Support: Yes

Object Functions

To use an object function, specify the System object as the first input argument. For example, to release system resources of a System object named obj, use this syntax:


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fvtoolVisualize frequency response of DSP filters
stepRun System object algorithm
releaseRelease resources and allow changes to System object property values and input characteristics
resetReset internal states of System object


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Remove the DC component of an input signal using the IIR, FIR, and subtract mean estimation algorithms.

Create a signal composed of a 15 Hz tone, a 25 Hz tone, and a DC offset.

t = (0:0.001:100)';
x = sin(30*pi*t) + 0.33*cos(50*pi*t) + 1;

Create three DC blocker objects for the three estimation algorithms.

dc1 = dsp.DCBlocker('Algorithm','IIR','Order', 6);
dc2 = dsp.DCBlocker('Algorithm','FIR','Length', 100);
dc3 = dsp.DCBlocker('Algorithm','Subtract mean');

For each second of time, pass the input signal through the DC blockers. By implementing the DC blockers in 1-second increments, you can observe differences in the convergence times.

for idx = 1 : 100
    range = (1:1000) + 1000*(idx-1);
    y1 = dc1(x(range));          % IIR estimate
    y2 = dc2(x(range));          % FIR estimate
    y3 = dc3(x(range));          % Subtract mean

Plot the input and output data for the three DC blockers for the first second of time, and show the mean value for each signal. The mean values for the three algorithm types show that the FIR and Subtract mean algorithms converge more quickly.

plot(t(1:1000),x(1:1000), ...
    t(1:1000),y1, ...
    t(1:1000),y2, ...
xlabel('Time (sec)')
legend(sprintf('Input DC:%.3f',mean(x)), ...
    sprintf('IIR DC:%.3f',mean(y1)), ...
    sprintf('FIR DC:%.3f',mean(y2)), ...
    sprintf('Subtract mean DC:%.3f',mean(y3)));

Figure contains an axes object. The axes object with xlabel Time (sec), ylabel Amplitude contains 4 objects of type line. These objects represent Input DC:1.000, IIR DC:0.011, FIR DC:-0.000, Subtract mean DC:-0.000.

Compare the spectrum of an input signal with a DC offset to the spectrum of the same signal after applying a DC blocker. Enable the DC blocker to use the FIR estimation algorithm.

Create an input signal composed of three tones and that has a DC offset of 1. Set the sampling frequency to 1 kHz and set the signal duration to 100 seconds.

fs = 1000;
t = (0:1/fs:100)';
x = sin(30*pi*t) + 0.67*sin(40*pi*t) + 0.33*sin(50*pi*t) + 1;

Create a DC blocker object that uses the FIR algorithm to estimate the DC offset.

dcblker = dsp.DCBlocker('Algorithm','FIR','Length',100);

Create a spectrum analyzer with power units set to dBW and a frequency range of [-30 30] to display the frequency response of the input signal. Using the clone function, create a second spectrum analyzer to display the response of the output. Then, use the Title property of the spectrum analyzers to label them.

hsa = spectrumAnalyzer('SampleRate',fs, ...
    'StartFrequency',-30,'StopFrequency',30,'YLimits',[-200 20],...
    'Title','Signal Spectrum');

hsb = clone(hsa);
hsb.Title = 'Signal Spectrum After DC Blocker';

Pass the input signal, x, through the DC blocker to generate the output signal, y.

y = dcblker(x);

Use the first spectrum analyzer to display the frequency characteristics of the input signal. The tones at 15, 20, and 25 Hz, and the DC component, are clearly visible.


Use the second spectrum analyzer to display the frequency characteristics of the output signal. The DC component has been removed.



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The DC blocker subtracts the DC component from the input signal. You can estimate the DC component by using the IIR, FIR, CIC, or subtract mean algorithm.


[1] Nezami, M. “Performance Assessment of Baseband Algorithms for Direct Conversion Tactical Software Defined Receivers: I/Q Imbalance Correction, Image Rejection, DC Removal, and Channelization.” MILCOM, 2002.

Extended Capabilities

Version History

Introduced in R2014a