Saturation arithmetic is often used in finite precision digital compensators to circumvent instability due to radix overflow. The saturation limits in the digital structure lead to nonlinear behavior during large state transients. It is shown that if all recursive loops in a compensator are interrupted by at least one saturation limit, then there exists a bounded external scaling rule which assures against overflow at all nodes in the structure. Design methods are proposed based on the generalized second method of Lyapunov, which take the internal saturation limits into account to implement a robust dual-mode suboptimal control for bounded input plants. The saturating digital compensator provides linear regulation for small disturbances, and near-time-optimal control for large disturbances or changes in the operating point. Computer aided design tools are developed to facilitate the analysis and design of this class of digital compensators.

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