TI: "DSPs" riding wireless wave

More gadgets are using digital signal processors as digital information plays a larger role in the lives of consumers, says Texas Instruments, a major manufacturer of DSPs.

LAS VEGAS--More gadgets are using digital signal processors, and the trend will continue as digital information plays a larger role in the lives of consumers, said Tom Engibous, CEO of Texas Instruments, a major manufacturer of DSPs.

Engibous delivered a Friday morning keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show here.

Engibous emphasized the significance of DSPs in light of the proliferation of devices such as digital audio players and cell phones with built-in digital cameras. DSPs play a significant role in converting analog data into compressed digital information and can also help improve power management in digital devices.

"Consumer electronics has been part of TI's success, but it will play a bigger part in the future," Engibous said.

Engibous noted that two years ago signal processing didn't play a role in handhelds, but in two years, with the evolution of such features as wirelessly accessing the Internet, every handheld will use a DSP. Engibous predicted that the growth of portable Internet-enabled devices will take off in 2003.

The burgeoning wireless market has been one of the few bright spots for the company, which has been struggling to meet financial expectations. TI's digital signal processors have a role in everything from cell phones to projectors.

Engibous added that consumer-electronics devices are moving toward being able to deliver entertainment information to wherever their users want to go.

And Engibous said one of the significant qualities of the consumer-electronics market is that manufacturers tend to dream big and collaborate to turn potential into reality. This, he said, might even lead to the day when a person's body heat would be enough to power devices.

"If you stay alive, you're connected," Engibous said.

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