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Zero-Order Hold

Implement zero-order hold of one sample period




The Zero-Order Hold block holds its input for the sample period you specify. The block accepts one input and generates one output. Each signal can be scalar or vector. If the input is a vector, the block holds all elements of the vector for the same sample period.

You specify the time between samples with the Sample time parameter. A setting of -1 means the block inherits the Sample time.

    Tip:   Do not use the Zero-Order Hold block to create a fast-to-slow transition between blocks operating at different sample rates. Instead, use the Rate Transition block.

Comparison with Similar Blocks

Blocks with Similar Functionality

The Unit Delay, Memory, and Zero-Order Hold blocks provide similar functionality but have different capabilities. Also, the purpose of each block is different. The sections that follow highlight some of these differences.

Recommended Usage for Each Block

BlockPurpose of the BlockReference Examples
Unit DelayImplement a delay using a discrete sample time that you specify. The block accepts and outputs signals with a discrete sample time.
MemoryImplement a delay by one major integration time step. Ideally, the block accepts continuous (or fixed in minor time step) signals and outputs a signal that is fixed in minor time step.
Zero-Order HoldConvert an input signal with a continuous sample time to an output signal with a discrete sample time.

Overview of Block Capabilities

Unit DelayMemoryZero-Order Hold
Specification of initial conditionYesYesNo, because the block output at time t = 0 must match the input value.
Specification of sample timeYesNo, because the block can only inherit sample time (from the driving block or the solver used for the entire model).Yes
Support for frame-based signalsYesNo Yes
Support for state loggingYesNoNo

Data Type Support

The Zero-Order Hold block accepts real or complex signals of any data type that Simulink® supports, including fixed-point and enumerated data types.

For more information, see Data Types Supported by Simulink in the Simulink documentation.


Sample time (-1 for inherited)

Specify the time interval between samples. To inherit the sample time, set this parameter to -1. See Specify Sample Time in the online documentation for more information.

Do not specify a continuous sample time, either 0 or [0,0]. This block supports only discrete sample times. When this parameter is -1, the inherited sample time must be discrete and not continuous.

Bus Support

The Zero-Order Hold block is a bus-capable block. The input can be a virtual or nonvirtual bus signal. No block-specific restrictions exist. All signals in a nonvirtual bus input to a Zero-Order Hold block must have the same sample time, even if the elements of the associated bus object specify inherited sample times. You can use a Rate Transition block to change the sample time of an individual signal, or of all signals in a bus. See Specify Bus Signal Sample Times and Bus-Capable Blocks for more information.

You can use an array of buses as an input signal to a Zero-Order Hold block. For details about defining and using an array of buses, see Combine Buses into an Array of Buses.


The following models show how to use the Zero-Order Hold block:


Data Types

Double | Single | Boolean | Base Integer | Fixed-Point | Enumerated | Bus

Sample Time

Specified in the Sample time parameter

Direct Feedthrough


Multidimensional Signals


Variable-Size Signals


Zero-Crossing Detection


Code Generation


Introduced before R2006a

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