Digital Signal Processing is one of the fastest growing areas of the electronics industry. The technology is having an increasing impact on the consumer and professional audio industries, in addition to a wide variety of other industries such as control, noise and vibration and telecommunications. This paper provides an introduction to the Digital Signal Processor (DSP), a class of microprocessor which is optimized to execute signal processing algorithms in -real-time-. After firstly discussing the nature of DSP algorithms and applications, it isolates the key requirements of a digital signal processor. The paper then describes how the current generation of DSP devices implement this necessary functionality, looks in detail at a current DSP device architecture and closes with an overview of the current trends in DSP device architecture.
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