The Digital Signal Processing Information Technology Essay

This paper discusses various aspects of digital signal processing. It begins by introducing the concept of digital signal processing and its goal with an example. Secondly, it explains the importance of DSP technology and then lists the advantages and limitations of using DSPs over other technologies . The paper then focuses on the key part – the applications in various segments such as military, telecommunications terminals and consumer products. This is followed by the present market for DSP stating the pioneers of this technology with the share revenue they hold. This paper then predicts the future of DSP and related technologies. The paper then shifts to the important portion, the case study which is the Algaia’s automotive solutions that make use of DSP. This provides solutions such as traffic recognition, lane recognition, pedestrian recognition traffic sign and object recognition, are discussed with a clear cut picture of the solution. This paper concludes with the key points with DSP technology.


Digital Signal Processing (DSP) can be defined as the processing of signals using digital techniques or digital computers. It is concerned with the representation of discrete time signals by a sequence of numbers or symbols and the processing of these signals. Digital signal processing and analog signal processing are subfields of signal processing

Goal: The goal of DSP is usually to measure, filter and/or compress continuous real-world analog signals. The digital signal processing involves a large number of operations being performed quickly on a set of data over and over again. These operations are carried out by the DSP algorithms. Signals are constantly converted from analog to digital, processed digitally, and then converted again to analog. Consider an example of a voice recording where voice is an analog signal which is recorded through a microphone. The first step is to convert this voice signal to digital form using an ADC(analog-to-digital converter). This converted data, now contains a stream of numbers which is manipulated digitally by the DSPs and converted back to an analog signal with the help of a Digital-to-analog converter. This analog signal is again a sound that could be played back.


The DSP techniques can be applied in any application as the present day DSP’s can do almost all the processing that can be done by analog circuits. The quality of the signal can be improved through digital signal processing by removing the unwanted parts of the signal. Also, they can be used to extract some important information from the signals. With the digital signal processing, the can not only be converted to digital form, then convert back to analog but also provides the feature of compression. The data compression became possible with this processing. Although, now the storage has become cheaper, the data is handled well when its less in size.

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The DSP technology has gained a competitive edge by sustaining technical and marketing advantages such as

Power Consumption

Die size/cost


Package, I/O


Apart from a series of advantages, the DSPs have deal with a few limitations which are as follows

Loss of information through aliasing, which can be avoided by following the sampling theorem

Correct reconstruction problem which can be dealt with the anti-alias filters

Quantization error


The DSP technology is used in many areas which include military, telecommunications, consumer products, communications, computers, peripherals, automotive, industrial, and other segments such as biomedicine, biometrics, etc.

Military Applications:

The military community was the first customer of DSP, back in the late 70’s, the radar and sonar was employed in the military to detect the targets by making use of DSP applications. These applications are still used in the military, with higher precision and performance rates. The detection and disposal of mines is a striking and significant development for the military which was made possible with the DSP applications.

Telecommunication terminals:

In the mid 90’s, the DSP technology entered the telecommunication terminals sector, deviating from its well known sectors of military and universities. This jump made DSP’s a household name. The DSP technology paved path for the manufacturing of terminals such as cell phones, modems and digital- answering machines. Today, the cell phones have become a basic necessity for the living. There are about 1 billion cell phones manufactured every year and the total number of cell phone subscriptions stand at 4.5 billion in numbers which is about half the world- population. These cell phones have evolved so much that they are way more than talking. The key features include Wi-Fi, social networking, and stock market, etc. The PC modems have also brought revolution in the world of networking. The connectivity, range and speed have changed the way we look the world. Thus, DSPs have certainly eased our lives.

Gadgets/ Electronic products:

The gadgets that have been made possible with the DSP applications include digital cameras, Music players, digital video recorders, digital set-top boxes, video gaming console, etc.

These products have indeed provided complete experience in the computing world and communications. For example, the digital cameras are embedded in the computers which make it complete for the purpose of video conferencing, recording or other purposes. Thus, the evolution of these gadgets not only has individual significance but also an associative/ collaborative one.

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The automotive industry makes use of DSP technology and has the following benefits

Increases fuel effieceincy

Precision motor control

Speed regulation

Pedestrian recognition

Helps meet the emission standards


The “Texas Instruments” has been the DSP market leader since a long time. TI dominates the digital signal processing market with its 65% share and its products have a wide range of applicability in the fields of communications, consumer products, medical, etc. The DSP market in 2010 was about $3.5billion, a significant growth of $0.7 billion from the 2009 market of $2.8 billion. This market for DSPs is dominated by the circles of communication and consumer products that included the cell phones, digital cameras and networking devices such as modems.


The Research and Markets released a report “Digital Signal Processor(DSP) Market to 2020 – Sales Growth in Smart Phones, Digital Cameras and Laptops will Sustain Demand” that provides a view of global DSP market. The Voice over IP is predicted to be a technology that would drive the DSP sales. The VoIP is expected to be the emerging technology that paved a way for the tremendous increase in the sales of DSPs by replacing the traditional switches with VoIP technology. The global VoIP semiconductor market is dominated by the Asia Pacific region with 58% revenue and it is predicted to be growing to 68 % by 2012. The production houses in this region like China, Taiwan, Korea and India would help to make these semiconductors to be cost-effective as the production cost in the east is comparatively lower than any other region. Thus, the VoIP technology can be assumed to be a cost effective in deed, meaning that there would be more in takers for this technology.

The consumer product market is ever changing with the consumers always looking for the enhanced features in terms of speed, storage and connectivity. The designers face these design challenges and at the same time have to keep it a cost effective. The sales of smart phones, digital cameras and PDA’s which use DSPs is expected to be reaching a tremendous figure by the year 2020. Thus, the future of DSPs is bright.


Aglaia GmbH is a German-based company that provides automotive solutions for the cars. The key solutions include traffic sign recognition, pedestrian recognition, lane departure warning and object detection, adaptive cut-off line. The solution that is considered for the case study is Lane Departure which makes use of Blackfin ADSP-BF561 processor. This solution is handled using cameras, image sensors and image processing algorithms.

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Fig 1: Lane recognition Fig 2: Traffic- sign recognition

Fig 3: Pedestrian recognition

The real-time video images are processed by the application software in order to recognize the traffic-lanes, objects, traffic-signs, head light and rear lights of the vehicles. The Blackfin processor used is a low-cost and takes less time to market.

The Aglaia’s electronic control unit(ECU) consists of four ADI Blackfin ADSP-BF561 processors that provide a processing power of 4.8GHz. This unit is extensible up to 8 processors per board.

The Inside: The Aglaia’s system is embedded with many number of product such as rugged CMOS cameras, developed specifically for road vehicles. The cameras interface to a technical platform called TEPLA through a Firmware connection . The data is aggregated from the vehicles system of sensors by the vehicle’s control area network(CAN)- bus which is in turn interfaced to TEPLA. The image signals are transmitted digitally through LIN (local interconnect)-bus.

Significance of this application: The present automotive solution is a safety critical application that helps to curb the number of accidents taking place. This application is very useful to the new drivers and also to the foreign drivers who may not be familiar with the rules and driving conditions on a new land. Thus, this DSP application can be termed as a revolutionary solution that would have a great impact on the modern world in the near future.


The DSP technology has evolved so much, right from the mid-70’s, where it had just one significant customer in military to the present day DSPs which find application in almost everywhere. The main areas of this technology would be the cell phones which play a key role in today’s voice communication. The DSPs play an important role in the present third generation technology(3G) of communications and also stand in the requirements for the next generation of 4G too. The DSPs have a wide range of applicability. The DSPs are cost-effective, easy to market, easily configurable, economical( consume less power) , flexible and also has a high performance rate. The present DSP market is near the $4 billion mark and it is expected to play a huge role in next world applications.

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