Before you go, check out these stories!

Hackernoon logoFast IIR filtering on ARM Cortex-M with CMSIS-DSP and GNU Octave by@matteo-scordino

Fast IIR filtering on ARM Cortex-M with CMSIS-DSP and GNU Octave

Author profile picture

@matteo-scordinoMatteo Scordino

I started my adventures in computing with a CBM64 in my childhood bedroom and never looked back

Signal filtering is the bread and butter of digital signal processing, and ARM Cortex-M cores provide a very efficient way to implement IIR filters, especially for cores that come with an FPU.

ARM maintains the CMSIS-DSP library as a collection of useful DSP functionality, including IIR filters implemented using a Direct Form II transposed structure. Big words, right?

In fact, the maths needed to go from filter specification to running code are not necessarily straightforward to do on paper. The process is complex and error prone, plus there is not a lot of value in doing it yourself for every minimal parameter variation.

That's why at Elimo Engineering we created a collection of scripts to harness the power of GNU Octave to design IIR filters and automatically get "ready-to-run" C code for our applications.

Being very creative people, we called it iir-designer-cmsis-dsp and, in the spirit of open source, we made it available with examples on GitHub.

The repo includes a file with example inputs like the following for a DC blocking filter:

	% Example 1
% 2nd order DC blocker, 20 Hz, sampling frequency = 44.1kHz
% Plots the filter response and sample signals 
pkg load signal


which will give you the following output:

coeffs =


That array of coefficients can be directly used in ARM code like the following:

#define IIR_ORDER     2

static float32_t m_biquad_state[IIR_ORDER];
static float32_t m_biquad_coeffs[5*IIR_NUMSTAGES] =

arm_biquad_cascade_df2T_instance_f32 const iir_inst = 

extern float32_t* pSrc;
extern float32_t* pDst;
extern uint16_t blockSize;

arm_biquad_cascade_df2T_f32(&iir_inst, pSrc, pDst, blockSize);

Note that this code is mostly boilerplate, and you just need to provide an input array of floats (pSrc in our example), a buffer for the filtered signal (pDst) and their length (blockSize)

Let us know if you find it useful, we would love to know what people are using it for!


Join Hacker Noon

Create your free account to unlock your custom reading experience.