With the world becoming smaller and smaller day-by-day, communication seems to be one of the most sought after technical sector. This revolution is centered on a core called the Digital Signal Processing (DSP). This explosive growth is by fuelled by the proliferation of DSP applications such as Highspeed networking/switching/routing, Voice/Fax Modems, Broadband, Wireless, Digital Imaging and Video. New killer applications are constantly evolving in the DSP space.
The term "DSP" applies broadly to continuous mathematical processes attempted in real-time. These include functions such as Digital Filtering (FIR and IIR), Viterbi Decoder, Convolution, Correlation, Fast Fourier Transforms etc. Most of these functions require the incoming data to be multiplied or added with various internal feedback mechanisms to perform the desired mathematical function.
This function is generically called Multiply/Accumulate. To increase performance, most general-purpose DSP processors perform a multiply/accumulate function in a single clock cycle (or less). The hardware to perform this function is called a Multiply/Accumulator (MAC). Most DSP processors have a fixed-point MAC while some have a more expensive floating-point MAC.