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Floating-Point DSP Chip: The Panacea of Our Time?

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There is no doubt that the performance targets of digital audio systems are becoming easier and more economic to achieve as technology advances. This is particularly true in the areas of DSP devices and ASICs. However it is not enough simply to have large amounts of processing power and dynamic range available, for system performance is also still dependent upon the correct choice of algorithms and system architectures. This is particularly true in the design of large digital audio mixing consoles where the performance of the system is not directly defined by the performance of a single EQ, or even signal path but by the total number of processes performed. This paper looks at the performance of four filter structures as implemented using IEEE floating point arithmetic and also gives examples of the use of ASIC technology.

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