Archives:What Is Signal Processing? A Look At the CD Player


Signal processing is an immense and diverse field. There are perhaps 50,000 engineers who regard signal processing as their specialty and hundreds of thousands more whose work involves signal processing. It is also a field that did not exist 50 years ago and one that remains mysterious, or quite unknown, to most people, though many of its tasks, such as analog-to-digital conversion, error,correction coding, speech synthesis, and image compression, have become familiar to laymen of the present communications- and computer-dominated world. Instead of attempting a definition of signal processing in general, this article takes a look at an everyday device, the compact-disk player, whose performance depends upon several types of signal processing.

Citation and Link to Full Article

Frederik Nebeker, "What Is Signal Processing? A Look At the CD Player," in Signal Processing: The Emergence of a Discipline, 1948-1998 (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1998), 1-11.

What Is Signal Processing? A Look At the CD Player (pdf)