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Definition: DSP

(1) See digital service provider, data storage provider and demand-side platform.

(2) (Digital Signal Processor) A chip that provides ultra-fast instruction sequences for digital signal processing (definition #3 below). For example, shift-and-add and multiply-and-add are commonly used in these math-intensive applications. DSP chips are found in cellphones, sound cards, fax machines, modems, hard drives and digital TVs. In the late 1970s, Texas Instrument's very popular Speak & Spell game was credited for having the first commercial DSP chip. See DSC.

(3) (Digital Signal Processing) A category of techniques that manipulate the signals from real-world events. Sound, temperature, images and motion are converted into digital data and analyzed using algorithms such as Fast Fourier Transform. Specialized chips are commonly used (definition #2 above).

Easier in Digital
Once a signal has been reduced to numbers, its components can be isolated, analyzed and rearranged more easily than in analog form. DSP is used in many fields, including biomedicine, sonar, radar, seismology, audio, speech and music processing, imaging and communications. It is also used to create the concert hall and surround sound effects in stereo and home theater equipment. See image processing.

Sound Effects
This earlier automobile sound system offered Concert, Live and other digitally created sound effects. Although "DSP" was the screen name of this category, "sound effects" would surely have been a more user-friendly term. See user interface.