Digital signal processor
A digital signal processor (DSP) is a specialized microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

 with an architecture optimized for the fast operational needs of digital signal processing
Digital signal processing
Digital signal processing is concerned with the representation of discrete time signals by a sequence of numbers or symbols and the processing of these signals. Digital signal processing and analog signal processing are subfields of signal processing...

Digital signal processing algorithm
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...

s typically require a large number of mathematical operations to be performed quickly and repetitively on a set of data. Signals (perhaps from audio or video sensors) are constantly converted from analog to digital, manipulated digitally, and then converted again to analog form, as diagrammed below.