Digital Signal Processors

Digital signal processors (DSPs) take signals like voice, audio or video and then manipulate them. They capture the signals as digital information, process it and then feed the information back for use. They do this either digitally or in an analogue format by going through an Audio Digital-to-Analogue Converter (DAC). All of this happens at very high speeds.


What are digital signal processors used for?

Digital signal processors are used for processing audio, video and graphics. They can make sound clearer, data faster and images sharper. For example, when used in Hi-Fi equipment, DSPs can create the illusion of three dimensional sound. 


Because they're programmable, DSPs can be used in a wide variety of applications, from mobile phones to computers and toys. They're compact in size and don't use a lot of power. 


Choosing the right digital signal processor

When you're looking for the right DSP there are various features to consider: 

  • Frequency – the number of data points per second, which you can think of as the speed. 
  • RAM size – usually the greater the size, the better the performance. 
  • Program memory – to customise a DSP for a specific purpose.

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Description Price Maximum Frequency Series Device Million Instructions per Second Data Bus Width RAM Size Instruction Set Architecture Program Memory Size Program Memory Type Numeric and Arithmetic Format Mounting Type Package Type Pin Count Typical Operating Supply Voltage Number of UART Channels
RS Stock No. 177-1805
Mfr. Part No.dsPIC33EP16GS502-I/SO
$5.22
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
60MHz DSPIC 70MIPS 16bit 2 kB C 16 kB Flash ALU Surface Mount SOIC 28 3.3 V 2
RS Stock No. 160-0708
Mfr. Part No.ADSP-21479BSWZ-2A
$30.953
Each (In a Tray of 90)
units
266MHz SHARC - 32bit 5 Mbit Super Harvard 4 Mbit ROM Floating Point Surface Mount LQFP 100 3.3 V 1
RS Stock No. 178-4874
Mfr. Part No.DSPIC33EP64GS502-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$5.86
Each (In a Tube of 27)
units
1MHz - 70MIPS 16bit 8 kB Code Efficient, MCU, Modified Harvard 64 kB EEPROM, SRAM MAC Surface Mount SOIC 28 3 → 3.6 V 2
RS Stock No. 666-9652
Mfr. Part No.dsPIC33FJ128MC706A-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
$10.12
Each
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40MIPS - - 16bit 16 kB RISC 128 kB Flash - Surface Mount TQFP 64 3 → 3.6 V 2
RS Stock No. 177-3910
Mfr. Part No.DSPIC30F4011-20I/PT
$11.16
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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120MHz DSPIC30F4011 30MIPS 16bit 2 kB Harvard 48 kB Flash ALU Surface Mount TQFP 44 - 2
RS Stock No. 666-9699
Mfr. Part No.dsPIC33FJ256MC510A-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
$11.17
Each
units
40MIPS - - 16bit 16 kB RISC 256 kB Flash - Surface Mount TQFP 100 3 → 3.6 V 2
RS Stock No. 912-6823
Mfr. Part No.DSPIC33FJ32MC304-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
$5.423
Each (In a Tray of 160)
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40MHz - - 16bit 4 kB RISC 32 kB Flash - Surface Mount TQFP 44 3.3 V 2
RS Stock No. 160-0712
Mfr. Part No.ADSP-BF592KCPZ-2
$6.855
Each (In a Tray of 260)
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200MHz Blackfin - 32bit 32 kB Modified Harvard 64 kB ROM MAC Surface Mount LFCSP 64 1.8 V, 2.5 V, 3.3 V 1
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