A must-have book for the EE who needs to shake off some of the DSP rust
A good understanding of DSPs has become as
the engineer’s toolkit today as, say, Ohms Law. Many
of us either learned about the topic in
school from classic textbooks by authors like Oppenheim & Schafer
Proakis & Manolakis. These books covered the theory well enough,
was little information on how to actually implement the DSP concepts in
systems along with real world time and cost constraints.
We EEs are fortunate that Mr. Richard G. Lyons
knowledge and wisdom in Understanding
Signal Processing, 2nd
Edition, ISBN: 0-13-108989-7. This book is a MUST-HAVE for the EE who
shake off the DSP rust, as well as the EE who either wants to optimize
approach/solution or the new graduate who needs to make a safe and
leap from DSP Theory into DSP Practice!
Being comfortable with DSP concepts and having
been part of
a successful microprocessor design team that developed a 16-bit DSP
from scratch, I was looking for a book that provided an implementation
perspective of DSP concepts that did not necessarily involve a
Sometimes a microprocessor could be overkill in a design or is unable
to meet the
target performance requirements. So when I went to the bookstore to
find a book
to cover this gap in my DSP experiences. This book fit the bill.
The overall chapter progression is as one would
a book on the topic, but one thing that I noticed is that the book did
any coverage on signal correlation, which is surprising given Mr.
background. Maybe that will come in a future edition? Given that the subject matter has been around for
of decades, I was impressed with the rich number of references that the
included--an average of 22 references per chapter. However, the most
thing is that of the 292 of them, only two referred to other works by
Lyons. This rich set of references allows the reader to dig deeper into a topic. If
a lot of rust, the book also has eight appendices, including a glossary
The illustrations in the book are very rich and
real-world experience that Mr. Lyons brings to the topic. The book is
strong regarding the equations of DSP concepts, i.e. you can see the
bolts of the operations involved to carry out any given implementation
approach. As an engineer moves from theory to practice,
terminology can change and in this book the term “Multirate Processing”
replaced by “Sample Rate Conversion,” which is a more indicative term
what is really being done. Just do not throw out the DSP text from
matter how many “scars” you have from the course(s)!
Chapter 12 is a key one for the practitioner as it
to data format and its effects, something that is not covered as well
more theoretical texts. Although the chapter focuses on the A/D
effects, it would have been more complete with a discussion on the
effects with the coefficients used during signal processing, be it for
a FFT or
IIR/FIR. There was a passing reference to this effect for IIR filters
in an earlier
chapter, but there are other “data format” effects that could have been
The real pot of gold--and frankly my main reason
the book--is the chapter on “Digital Signal Processing Tricks.” You can
through the equations and even try to connect with the muse of DSP
simply read it through. There is even information on how to apply DSP
to Quadrature Oscillators and AGC (Automatic Gain Control)
knew that that was possible?
In writing this book, Mr. Lyons intentionally
from the traditional “instructor-student ” format. That may work for
with a good DSP foundation, as there are no practice problems to work.
for an engineer just starting out in DSP this book may be a bit more
challenging to follow, although not impossible. I would definitely
one of the more theoretical books handy.
I am glad to have this book in my engineering tool
I give it 4.5/5.0 stars.
is an electrical engineer alumnus from N.C. State University, who is
taking his more than 15 years of industry experience to found his first
high-tech company, Digital Data Innovations - DDI, after being involved
in more than six tech start-ups since high school. He currently resides
in Portland, Oregon and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have Rick Lyons second edition book as well. At the heart of DSP, of course, is complex analysis. I recently purchased the book " A first course in Complex Analysis with Applications" by Dennis Zill. As Calculus books go, and Complex analysis is really an extension of Calculus, this book has helped me get a more in-depth understanding of many concepts in Lyon's book. Another excellent book that I recommend is Lee Fugal's "Conceptual Wavelets". Wavelet analysis is a recent development in DSP. You never stop learning is this business.
I used Proakis and Manolakis when I took my undergraduate DSP course. I have to admit at times this book good have been a little less theoretical. I had been looking for a good DSP reference book for a while but to no avail. After reading this article, I searched Amazon for reviews on Mr. Lyon's book, I was surprised to say that this book as 71/71 5 stars.
Thank you for pointing me to this book.
I agree that Understanding DSP by Lyons is an excellent reference for bridging the gap between DSP theory and practice. Lyons' casual writing style is easy to follow, and he has a keen knack for anticipating questions that the reader may have for each topic. DSP engineers with a good understanding of DSP theory (I prefer Proakis & Manolakis for reinforcing this) will benefit from Lyons' constant emphasis on practical DSP system implementation in hardware and software systems.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.