Saturday, September 23, 2023

For Those With DSP Skills

Typically, DSP engineers today write codes to implement a function on a DSP, architect hardware blocks and systems, and design algorithms. In this article, we take a look at the DSP scenario in India, career scope in this field and industry experts’ suggestions to aspiring engineers -- Abhishek Mutha

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To make a career in DSP field, one typically needs to have a graduate degree in electronics engineering or electronics and communication engineering. A postgraduate degree in signal processing is preferred, informs Gandhe.

[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Skills required”]

• Knowledge of typical DSP theoretical aspects like sampling, convolution, correlation, filters, forward error-correction codes, speech codecs, digital modulation techniques and FFT
• DSP architectures (single-core and multi-core)
• ‘C’/Assembly programming on real-time OS
• Fixed-point representation of numbers
• Hardware accelerators
• Hands-on experience with tools like MATLAB
• Exposure to equipment like spectrum analysers, signal generators and modulators

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—Sunil Kshatri, AVP, human resources, Sasken[/stextbox]

For DSP chip or system design, a master’s degree in electronics or associated domain is desirable.

“Writing DSP software requires good grasp of signal processing concepts. Therefore a master’s degree in electronics or computer science with specialisation in DSP would be highly preferred,” explains Giri.

Kaushal believes that a good idea of design algorithm, understanding of different platforms and an attitude to learn are the minimum requirements. He says, “The candidate must have hunger and passion to learn and face challenges in this particular domain.”

What’s in it for freshers?
“Some of the more advanced techniques are not taught in courses. So a fresher should view the first two-thre years of his career as an apprenticeship in the area,” says Gandhe. Once the engineer achieves a level of expertise, career growth is very fast.

“For a fresher who has moved into signal processor domain, opportunities mostly start from implementing an algorithm for exactness and later on optimising it for memory, MIPS, performance, power, etc,” informs Srinivas.

Common resume keywords for DSP jobs
Algorithms, architecture, C, C++, communications, digital, DSP, embedded, hardware, MATLAB, maths, real-time, signal processing, simulation, wireless, ASIC, FPGA, image processing, RTOS

He says, “As the career progresses, engineers should explore opportunities to develop the algorithm for specific applications—be it noise cancellation for a specific environment or a new communication algorithm for a proprietary communication network.”

“This provides good challenges and opportunities to showcase the experience an engineer gained over a period of time to develop new IP and demonstrate his skills,” he adds.

There are opportunities for freshers but they must fulfil the basic requirement to enter DSP domain. Kaushal explains, “Freshers must have good analytical skills. The assigned task depends on the capabilities of the candidate at entry level. There are inhouse training programmes organised by companies to train candidates in DSP field as per the working structure of the company.”

George informs that freshers are offered profles in the areas of software development, firware debugging, audio codec, RTL implementation of DSP algorithms, and system design and verification. The operative tasks that they would be performing are design, development, documentation, review, integration and testing of physical-layer signal processing and control modules on DSP/RISC processors.


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