The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

#1287 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) change request pending

We should review whether DSP is sufficiently covered in SFIA

An internal assessor in a customer organisation asked my guidance on how digital signal processing was covered in SFIA.

I looked up 'digital signal processing' online, just to make sure I’m not making too many assumptions

Looking at this definition, I’m drawn to the following:

  • Analytics (INAN) because of the use of mathematical and computational algorithms, and analysis of the signal data, plus the reference to audio information
  • Real-time/embedded systems development (RESD) – for example, level 4 mentions “optimise performance”, “specialised tools” including “digital storage oscilloscopes”.
  • Hardware design (HWDE) – but you would have to check if they are involved in designing hardware elements of systems to produce signal outputs
  • System software (SYSP) if they are using tools to collect performance statistics and maintaining the system.
  • IT infrastructure (ITOP) – operational procedures on infrastructure items
  • Radio frequency engineering (RFEN)
  • Specialist Advice (TECH) is they are advising others on this area

There are others that it could be, but it depends what this particular person does in DSP – for example, are they designing, building, implementing, supporting – or a mix of these. I might consider problem management (PBMG) for example, if they are investigating root cause and fixing. If they just support applications which do digital signal processing, then it could be Application support (ASUP).

I would be interested to hear if anyone else has experience in this area and can give guidance on whether we already have it covered in SFIA7 or if we need to make changes for the next version.

Current status of this request: pending

What we decided

This analysis suggest that DSP is a specific technology which can have application in a number of SFIA skill areas.

If there is sufficient demand this could be added to guidance notes for relevant skills to make the coverage explicit.

Jonathan Oliver
Jan 21, 2021 11:39 AM

I have seen DSP applications in Radar, Sonar and RFID based systems comprising a hardware element that performs a degree of signal filtering before passing a digital representation to software for further processing. Custom software is then used to perform various additional filtering on the data to meet the different needs of the system - for example in radar and sonar applications this could include target classification and for RFID the extraction of the tag's unique identifier or other data.

I propose adding PROG to the list of identified skills related to DSP to cover the software engineering aspect of this area.