Digital Signal Processing Group :: Professor Alan V. Oppenheim
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Professor Alan V. Oppenheim
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About DSPG > History

View More PhotosDSPG was founded by Professor Alan Oppenheim in the mid 1960’s in RLE to carry out innovative research in signal processing across a broad set of applications. The research directions were motivated by the increasing awareness in a number of laboratories of the flexibility that digital computers could provide in implementing signal processing algorithms, an awareness that was the beginning of the field of Digital Signal Processing. Initially, the applications of Digital Signal Processing were primarily in areas without a requirement for real time implementation and often ones in which the signals were difficult to acquire but where the value of sophisticated off-line processing was high. Examples included geophysical data analysis for oil exploration and a variety of military applications. Digital simulation of signal processing systems to be eventually implemented in analog hardware was also a strong driving force behind the evolution of DSP. Speech compression systems were one of the key examples, represented by innovative work at RLE, at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, and at Bell Laboratories. The discovery, or rather re-discovery of the Fast Fourier Transform, resulted in an explosion of practical applications of DSP and the development of new, sophisticated algorithms that were practical to implement digitally but impractical to implement with analog hardware.

Another major milestone in the evolution of DSP was the development of the Speak and Spell by Texas Instruments. This was, perhaps, one of the first consumer electronics products based on DSP technology. The Speak and Spell together with the development of the compact disk player led to a further acceleration of interest and progress in DSP algorithms and implementations.

While the field of DSP in it’s modern form goes back to the mid 1960’s, it remains a vital and dynamic field today with significant momentum and tremendous future promise. DSPG is proud to have a significant part of this exciting field for the past four decades, and and will continue to be at the forefront of the field in the future including it’s evolution into other classes of digital and analog technologies and new and exciting applications.

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