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UML and Analog Devices Hold Real-time DSP Contest


LOWELL - College student teams from across the Northeast have the opportunity to design and produce a specialized microprocessor device using high-performance hardware and software provided by Analog Devices, Inc (ADI).

            The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) is holding a contest on real-time digital signal processing (DSP) design. The set problem is to invent an assistive listening device that can be used in a wide variety of listening situations to help reduce the adverse effects of background noise and the distance between the speaker and listener.

The first 15 teams registered (before the Feb. 28 deadline) will receive an Analog Devices ADSP-21161 SHARC® Processor and development tools package, a value of more than $10,000, to use in implementing the design. SHARC Processors are included in consumer electronics products made by Bose, Denon and others, and in high-end audio products and automobiles.

"The contest is a wonderful opportunity for advanced undergraduate and graduate students to apply science to a real-life problem," says Dr. Mufeed Mahmoud, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and contest chair. "Instead of the typical validation exercise, this contest problem enables students to bring mathematical equations to life. With DSP, you can implement any design application in a real device."

Digital Signal Processing is the processing of signals by digital means. DSP also refers to digital signal processors. DSP chips are specialized microprocessors with architecture designed for the numerically-intensive requirements of digital signal processing. DSP chips are programmable and capable of carrying out millions of floating point operations per second.

Team designs will be judged on their hardware/software efficiency in terms of speed and code density. The top three designs will be awarded $750, $500 and $250. The contest on Saturday, April 2 will be held in the Real-Time DSP and Medical Imaging Lab. Teams will be lodged for two nights at a local hotel, compliments of the Francis College of Engineering at UML.

"The very first team to register is from Canada," said Mahmoud. "We're excited about the collaboration with ADI and hope that many universities will participate in this first regional contest."

Information and registration are online at

About UML

The University of Massachusetts Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. Visit our website at

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