Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
DSP is a method of processing 'real world signals' (represented by a sequence of numbers) using mathematical techniques to perform transformations or extract information.
After almost two decades of development, DSPs continue to take the place of competitive processors. DSPs are, after all, at the center of signal processing. Some of the advantages of designing with DSPs over other microprocessors are: single-cycle multiply-accumulate operations; real-time performance, simulation and emulation; flexibility; reliability; increased system performance and reduced system cost.
Since the point of DSP is usually to measure or filter continuous real world analog signals, an analog to digital conversion performed by an analog to digital converter is usually the first step. The target of the signal processing is often another analog output signal which requires a digital to analog converter for translation.
The mathematical calculations and algorithms required for DSP are sometimes executed in hardware digital signal processors, also abbreviated DSP. Digital signal processors have heavily parallel architectures optimized for DSP computations and are designed to operate in real-time.