Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) have been used in accelerator systems for more than fifteen years and have largely contributed to the evolution towards digital technology of many accelerator systems, such as machine protection, diagnostics and control of beams, power supply and motors. This paper aims at familiarising the reader with DSP fundamentals, namely DSP characteristics and processing development. Several DSP examples are given, in particular on Texas Instruments DSPs, as they are used in the DSP laboratory companion of the lectures this paper is based upon. The typical system design flow is described; common difficulties, problems and choices faced by DSP developers are outlined; and hints are given on the best solution.
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