Why Digital Communications Without TearsTM?

Dear Colleague,

First I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support regarding our DSP seminars and CD-ROM. Thanks to your encouragement and word of mouth, we have been very successful. Your suggestions helped us tremendously, and I was encouraged by your letters and phone calls telling me how much you liked our seminars. We tried to bring an extremely complicated subject down to earth and explain DSP in an understandable language.

Many of you who had communications applications wanted to learn more about telecom-related applications of DSP. You wanted to know more about DSP demodulators and digital phase locked loops, direct IF conversion, down convertors and digital matched filters, etc. Unfortunately, we couldnt cover much in our basic 3-day seminar. That was partly due to time limitation. It also had to do with the fact that about half the people in our DSP seminars are involved in non-telecom related applications.

The concept of DSP transceiver is very near and dear to me. I have always wanted to develop another seminar specifically about DSP-based communications. In 1989, I developed a digital communications graduate course. I began teaching it in 1990. It was a phenomenal success. Most of my students were working engineers and they found the material very practical and helpful to their jobs. Then it occurred to me that there is enough material for three or four 3-day seminars. I went to work by taking most of the math and proofs out of my regular college course and by adding a lot of practical and applications-oriented stuff. Now I am pleased to announce that the first in the sequence is ready. Its called Digital Communications Without TearsTM, Part I: The ABCs of Digital Communications.

As you probably know, digital communications is a vast area and I cant promise you will learn everything there is to know in Part I. But for most of you system engineers, analog and RF engineers, ASIC designers and software folks, Part I is good enough. Hopefully some day we will have a seminar called Digital Communications Without TearsTM, Part N: The XYZs of Digital Communications.

Digital communications is complicated because it crosses many layers and disciplines - from the math-rich subjects of communication theory and information theory all the way to hardware and software architecture. There are many books on the market, but most of them are very difficult to understand. They emphasize theory and most people get lost in the heavy math concepts such as signal space, optimal receivers, and estimation detection theory. Whats worse is that even if you master all the math, by the time you finish the book you are nowhere near having an understanding of the practical stuff. I know because I learned it the hard way. I took quite a few heavy duty graduate level communication theory courses and learned all the math and yet when I tried to design my first modem, I realized I didnt know much! I found out that most of the things that I had to do on a day-to-day basis were scattered in literally thousands of papers. It took me years to separate facts from fiction and be able to see a coherent picture in my mind.

Now I would like to share with you what took almost 20 years to learn. I hope you will like our brand new seminar and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Kambiz Heidarian

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