Technology Review

4.1 Introduction

The technology used for DSP implementation is very strongly linked with the astonishing developments in silicon technology. As was highlighted in the introduction to this book, the availability of a transistor which has continually decreased in cost, has been the major driving force in creating new markets and has overseen the development of a number of DSP technologies. Silicon technology has not only offered an increasingly cheaper platform, but has also offered this at higher speeds and at a lower power cost. This has inspired a number of DSP-based markets, specifically mobile telephony and digital video products.

As Chapter 2 clearly indicated, there are numerous advantages of systems in the digital domain, specifically guaranteed accuracy, essentially perfect reproducibility and better ageing; these developments are seen as key to the continued realization of future systems. The earliest DSP filter circuits were pioneered by Leland B. Jackson and colleagues at Bell laboratories (Jackson 1970) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At that time, the main aim was to create silicon chips for performing basic filtering functions such as FIR and IIR filtering. A key aspect was the observation that the binary operation of the transistor, could be well matched, to creating the necessary digital operation required in DSP systems.

From these early days, a number of technologies have emerged; these range from simple microcontrollers where the performance ...

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