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Advantages of DSP + Analog

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Advantages of DSP + Analog

DSP + analog is real-time technology, ideally suited for applications where users won't wait. DSPs can handle operations requiring billions of operations each second. Paired with analog devices that can turn heat, light, sound and other "real-world" energy into digital signals, DSPs are designed with communications and real time in mind. That is why they uniquely can do what other general purpose microprocessors can't.

Here are some of the advantages of digital technology:

Wireless Communications
Back in the mid-80s when cellular telephone service was first being introduced, the average phone was about the size and weight of a brick. Calls and phones were expensive. Battery life was short. Networks had limited capacity. Coverage was spotty.

With DSP, digital transmission multiplied the number of calls that could be made. Now 10 to 20 times the number of calls flow along the same cellular bandwidth. Battery life became longer, stand-by and talk times are now measured in days and weeks instead of hours. DSP + analog reduced the number of chips in a cell phone, so phones became smaller and lighter. At the same time, the more powerful chips added more features such as voice mail. High bandwidth transmission will open the door for new enhanced services and devices that go far beyond the traditional voice conversations that most wireless phones are used for today.

Broadband to the Home
Broadband means having more "space" to send data to your home. Digging up streets to replace older telephone and cable lines would be costly. New technology was needed to push more data through the existing lines. The technology that makes that happen is DSP. Digital modems, either digital subscriber loop (DSL) or cable, enables networks to significantly increase the amount of information that flows over their copper and coax pipes without having to go in and replace the pipes.

DSPs are powering the DSL modems, just like with cellular. DSP technology turns plain old copper telephone wiring into a high-speed data connection. High-performance, programmable DSPs give telephone companies a cost-effective way of upgrading their networks. Installation is simple without the digging that new lines would require.

Cable companies have also realized that by converting to digital, they can provide broadband or high-speed Internet connections to the home. As the complexity of cable modems increases with voice and other enhanced services, the flexibility offered by programmable DSP will make it the technology of choice for cable modems.

Internet Telephony
Internet telephony is a method of sending voice transmissions over a data network such as the Internet or a corporate Intranet. Someday you won't need a telephone line just for your telephone, another telephone line and modem for the Internet, and cable for TV entertainment. Soon, any information, voice or electronic data, will flow over any line into your home. And DSP is the engine that transmits data so quickly, more and different types of it can share the same lines.

Personal Audio
Another example of the impact of broadband is in the downloading of digital audio over the Net onto DSP-based personal audio players. High-speed connections now support, for the first time, the rapid download of large digital music files.

This will revolutionize the music distribution industry. Instead of running to the record store, customers can visit the Internet to listen to, and buy, music. TI's programmable DSP will control all audio features and help solve security issues. There are several standards emerging - but TI's programmable DSP is standards agnostic, ready to work with whatever standard the user selects.

More to Come
There are literally thousands of electronic devices today that use DSPs. Our customers are using DSPs to enhance and improve all kinds of applications, such as hearing aids with clearer sound, electric wheelchairs that can climb curbs, and listening devices to track whales.

Other significant market opportunities for DSP are developing, and TI is investing to establish an early lead in new, emerging markets. Our mass-market customers purchase our products in small numbers but return to us high margins. Our mass market has 30,000 customers and serves as an incubator for emerging larger markets. Today, we're using those insights to target the most promising high-tech opportunities - markets such as digital cameras, digital audio, digital imaging, digital printers, and a host of new opportunities in the communications markets. Visit our Digital Innovation section to discover more of how DSP is driving the digital world.

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