Until about 1970 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) was considered something of a curiosity by most engineers and scientists — if indeed they had heard of it at all. Then, throughout the next decade, and thanks to the dramatic development of digital computers, there was an enormous growth of interest in both its theoretical and practical aspects. Equally dramatic advances in VLSI technology in the 1980s made it possible to design DSP devices on a single chip of silicon. Today, a wide range of implementations is possible — from software processors realised on general-purpose computers or microprocessors right through to fast, application-specific, hard-ware. DSP already has an established role in fields as diverse as electronic engineering, biomedicine, process control, seismology, aerospace and data processing; and there is every sign that the list will continue to grow.
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