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What is digital signal processing?

 DSP in real life

Digital signal processing is a discipline that spans electrical engineering, computing, mathematics and the physical sciences.

This includes a wide variety of goals, such as:

    • enhancement of visual images
    • recognition and generation of speech
    • Compression of data for storage and transmission

With the explosion of digital communications and digital media, the need for methods to process digital data is more important than ever. In practice, this characteristics that make digital signal processing (DSPs) good in handling signals make them suitable for many other purposes, such as high-quality graphics processing and engineering simulations. The digital signal processor is a specialized microprocessor typically programmed in C, perhaps with assembly code for performance-- is essentially a fast number-cruncher. Just about any embedded product application that involves rapid numeric processing is a candidate for a DSP. The development of digital signal processing dates from the 1960s and 1970s when digital computers became available, with the use of mainframe digital computers for number-crunching applications such as the computation of the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), which allows the spectrum of a signal to be computed rapidly. Digital signal processing (DSP) is one of the most powerful modern technologies that enable information to be processed by digital means. It has helped revolutionize science and engineering in the 21st century. It is the basis of many areas of technology, from cell phones to high-speed modems and multimedia PCs. DSP devices account for a significant proportion of worldwide semiconductor sales, amounting to billions of dollars annually. Steady advances in VLSI and FPGA technology and design tools have extensively expanded the application domain of digital signal processing over the past decade. Consequently, high-tech industries are actively recruiting skilled DSP engineers to support their increasing development of these complex technologies and applications. Employment in this sector requires engineers with high-level, advanced engineering skills. Therefore, engineers proficient in digital signal processing and relevant development tools are in an ever-growing demand. Digital signal processing has undergone enormous growth in usage/implementation in the last 20 years and many engineering schools are now offering DSP courses in their undergraduate curricula.

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