Digital Signal Processing

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Digital signal processing (commonly abbreviated as DSP) is the branch of science that studies digital signals and their processing. DSP is the digital counterpart of analog signal processing. There are numerous applications for DSP, a few examples being audio and image processing, communications and control systems engineering.

Digital signal processing is usually carried out by digital signal processors, which are semiconductor devices specifically designed for the cause.

Advantages of DSP

  • Digital signal processors are programmable and can be reprogrammed as needed. This feature enables the use of a single hardware implementation for a great number of different processing tasks, merely by programming new software into the processor. In the case of an analog system, altering the system operation typically requires the replacement of components, if not even more extensive system redesign.
  • Analog signal processing systems include components such as resistors, capacitors and operational amplifiers whose characteristics drift with time and temperature. A digitally implemented system is virtually immune to changes in ambient temperature and will have the same characteristics over the entire specified operating range.
  • Digital signal processing programs operate exactly the same everytime the program is run, even on different devices. Two analog circuits will not provide the same output, due to variations in component tolerances and operating conditions.