This oral history focuses on the conception, design and implementation of the AT&T DSP1, one of the very first digital signal processors (DSP) implemented on a single silicon chip. The team on the panel consists of three men who were some of the key designers of that chip. The work was done at Bell Labs in 1977/78, and although the three on the panel were key in its conception and implementation, they emphasized throughout the interview the critical roles played by many other designers in this successful project.
The oral history chronicles the early conception of the device, the choice of implementation technology, design trade offs, system and chip level design, and finally testing. The team emphasized the critical importance of the collaborative Bell Labs environment that allowed them to tap the critical skills of those outside of the project itself. They used a number of tools, some advanced for the day, in the design of the system, including simulators, hardware breadboards, etc. In the end the project was quite successful and proved to be an important platform for both AT&T products and research in the future.
digital signal processing (DSP); Bell Labs; Western Electric; UNIX