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How to start learning DSP techniques?

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Full Member level 3
Dec 25, 2002
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How to start DSP?

Hi All,
I want to learn dsp techniques, but i don't know how to start? I downloaded some books but they are not so good. If you have good ebooks, link and any other resources about dsp please write. And one easy question, too:
What's fixed point dsp and floating point dsp? And where to use them?

I recommend you the book
Digital signal processing by Chi Tsong Chen, I`ts hardcover.
The scientific and engineer's guide to DSP its a great ebook from

You can learn about the FFT, discrete signals and systems.

Floating point or fixed point is the way as the processor make the calculations.
On fixed point numbers are represented by integers of any length, (16 bits ,32 bits)
On floating point the numbers are represented in two fields: mantissa and exponent which allows a bigger rank of representation from small to big numbers.

Floating point is in general better than fixed point and allows more precision, but the floating point processors are more expensive due of more complexity of this ALU.

I think the DSP blockset and DSP toolbox on Matlab are good software for learn digital signal processing also the manuals of these toolboxes are very good learning books too.


Which mcu to use with dsp applications? I know pic and x51 architectures to programming, i heard ti's dsp micros but i don't know anything about them. I looked ti's website but i don't know so much about dsp, so i don't know which is the best mcu for dsp (ti micros, pic, x51)?

What is required to use an FPGA as a DSP? I have not seen any FPGA's with integrated ADC/DAC so can someone describe how to use an FPGA as a DSP?

- Jayson

Well ash

For very slow signals and short bandwidth one MCU can be used for signal processing. I have implemented a fourth order filter with pic microcontroller for control purpose. The complexity of operations allows or not the use of micorcontroller as you say.

For other signals you should use DSP due to complexity of calculation. Remember that a microcontroller ALU it's a 8 bit one and you are processing numbers of 32 bits for example. basically a digital filter is sum-multiply algorithm, but very fast.

Then my advice is:
whats your application, depends on it you choose your computer.
order of complexity:
1. MCU too slow DSP
2. PC Computer
3. Fixed point DSP
4. Floating point DSP, fast processing

Pc computer is the best solution for me.

Thanks for your help!

You can learn a lot for free at
Much depends on what you want the DSP to do. It does signal processing well but general Io and user interface not so well. For really fast apps you might want to use FPGA to help out. I have designed a test prototype with TI DSP (5402) Xilinx Spartan IIe ATmega128L and data flash. The micro (Atmel) loads the fpga from flash, fills the DSP ram from data flash and starts the DSP then does all the user/application interfacing.

mupd it is really nice to hear that you've done this prototype but it doesn't really say where to start and do something like it.

- Jayson

The people at:

provide technical summaries (up-to-date) on the latest DSPs available.


Re: How to start DSP?

you can read this book Discrete Time Signal Processing
very good one

Re: How to start DSP?
has a lot of information on how to implement DSP algorithm on FPGA:)

the_penetrator said:
The people at:

provide technical summaries (up-to-date) on the latest DSPs available.


How can I get the testbench from

How to start DSP?

To study is a lengthy process, so you should have enough patient. I have a beginner, and I fall across many similar question. Now I stand in darkness.
Who can help me? I want to design the hardware, but i don't know how to start?

Re: How to start DSP?

There is a good book "DSP first".
It is good for beginner.

Re: How to start DSP?

could i used microcontroller to learn DSP?
if possible how?

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