Digital Signal Processing

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Digital Signal Processing refers to a method by which an analog signal is turned into digital data, which can then be analyzed and modified using various mathematical techniques. This processing may be performed by a regular computer CPU. There are, however, special-purpose processors called, oddly enough, "Digital Signal Processors", that are specifically designed to perform these mathematical operations extremely efficiently. Both the method and the processor are often referred to as "DSP".

Typical applications of Digital Signal Processing include noise elimination and other operations designed to make a radio signal clearer; in this case the audio signal from the broadcast is turned back into analog after it has been modified. It is then fed into the audio circuitry of the radio, so that the user can listen to the modified signal. Another application is to use Digital Signal Processing to find the components of a signal, breaking it down into its component frequencies, which can then be displayed or further processed.

Many modern radios have DSP circuitry built in; an example of these is the Icom IC-746. There are also external devices that can provide this function, such as the Timewave DSP-599zx, and there is software available that will do DSP on a standard PC.

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