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digital signal processing
digital signal processing (DSP) The branch of signal processing that uses digital systems to operate on signals. The advantages of digital over analog signal processing are that memory is more easily employed (so that time may be re-run in different speeds and directions) and that a wider range of arithmetic operations and algorithmic complexity is possible; the main advantage, however, is that the possible precision is arbitrarily high. Where filtering of continuous signals is implemented digitally, the accuracy of the filter bandwidth, cut-off frequencies, and skirt slopes is not dependent on the value of passive components, which may change with time and temperature. A further advantage is that the function implemented may be altered by programming the digital function, allowing the implementation of variable bandwidth filters and the like. The main disadvantage is that in some instances digital techniques are slower than analog techniques. Many specialized digital devices have been developed that retain the advantages but nevertheless operate at high speed, at the cost of flexibility.
digital signal A waveform or signal whose voltage at any particular time will be at any one of a group of discrete levels, generally two; a two-level signal is sometimes called a binary digital signal or binary signal. In binary logic circuits, in which only two discrete voltage levels are used, one level will correspond to logic 1 (true), usually the high level, and the other will correspond to logic 0 (false).