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.