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x = square(t) generates a square wave with period 2π for the elements of the time array t. square is similar to the sine function but creates a square wave with values of –1 and 1.


x = square(t,duty) generates a square wave with specified duty cycle duty. The duty cycle is the percent of the signal period in which the square wave is positive.


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Create a vector of 100 equally spaced numbers from 0 to 3π. Generate a square wave with a period of 2π.

t = linspace(0,3*pi)';
x = square(t);

Plot the square wave and overlay a sine. Normalize the x-axis by π. The generated square wave has a value of 1 for intervals [nπ,(n+1)π) with even n and a value of -1 for intervals [nπ,(n+1)π) with odd n. The wave never has a value of 0.

xlabel('t / \pi')
grid on

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type line.

Repeat the calculation, but now evaluate square(2*t) at 121 equally spaced numbers between -π and 2π. Change the amplitude to 1.15. Plot the wave and overlay a sine with the same parameters. This new wave is negative at t=0 and positive at the endpoints, -π and 2π.

t = linspace(-pi,2*pi,121);
x = 1.15*square(2*t);

xlabel('t / \pi')
grid on

Figure contains an axes. The axes contains 2 objects of type line.

Generate a 30 Hz square wave sampled at 1 kHz for 70 ms. Specify a duty cycle of 37%. Add white Gaussian noise with a variance of 1/100.

t = 0:1/1e3:0.07;
y = square(2*pi*30*t,37)+randn(size(t))/10;

Compute the duty cycle of the wave. Plot the waveform and annotate the duty cycle.


Figure Duty Cycle Plot contains an axes. The axes contains 9 objects of type line. These objects represent signal, mid cross, upper boundary, upper state, lower boundary, mid reference, lower state.

ans = 0.3639

Input Arguments

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Time array, specified as a vector, matrix, or N-D array. square operates along the first array dimension of t with size greater than 1.

Data Types: single | double

Duty cycle, specified as a real scalar from 0 to 100.

Data Types: single | double

Output Arguments

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Square wave, returned as a vector, matrix, or N-D array.

Extended Capabilities

C/C++ Code Generation
Generate C and C++ code using MATLAB® Coder™.

Introduced before R2006a