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Issue No. 08 - August (1998 vol. 31)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 51-59
These days, the once obscure engineering term "DSP" (short for digital signal processing) is working its way into common use. It has begun to crop up on the labels of an ever wider range of products, from home audio components to answering machines. This is not merely a reflection of a new marketing strategy, however; there truly is more digital signal processing inside today's products than ever before. But why is the market for DSP processors booming? The answer is somewhat circular: As microprocessor fabrication processes have become more sophisticated, the cost of a microprocessor capable of performing DSP tasks has dropped significantly to the point where such a processor can be used in consumer products and other cost-sensitive systems. As a result, more and more products have begun using DSP processors, fueling demand for faster, smaller, cheaper, more energy-efficient chips. Although fundamentally related, DSP processors are significantly different from general-purpose processors (GPPs) like the Intel Pentium or PowerPC. The authors explain what DSP processors are and what they do. They also offer a guide to evaluating DSP processors for use in a product or application.

J. Bier and J. Eyre, "DSP Processors Hit the Mainstream," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 51-59, 1998.
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