50-year existence of IND

25/07/2014
  Copyright: IND RWTH

This year, the Institute for Communication Devices and Data Processing has been in existence for 50 years. The festive colloquium on July 25th, 2014 provided exemplary insights into the development of engineering and technology in the field of digital speech-audio communication. In the context of six lectures, interesting research topics such as the bug-proof smartphone of the Federal Chancellor or the application of system theory for a congestion-free holiday trip were discussed. A commemorative publication supplemented the lectures with retrospectives, insights and outlooks on the Institute's work. A festive dinner at Forum M with an entertaining supporting program rounded off the day.

The Institute was founded in 1964 with the appointment of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Jörg Tafel to RWTH Aachen and has been directed by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Vary since October 1988. The history of the Institute is also a history of technological development.

At the time of the funding of the Institute, communications engineering was still strongly influenced by electromechanics and emerging data processing. By contrast, the early 1990s marked a technological revolution with the imminent introduction of digital GSM mobile telephony and the Internet. The central topics in research and teaching were primarily signal processing as well as source and channel coding for mobile radio.

In cooperation with network operators and manufacturers of mobile phones, fundamental contributions have been achieved towards the international standardization of the most important voice codes. With the increasing performance of the processors, more complex signal processing algorithms could be realized. A closer look shows that today all smartphones in the world contain elements of voice and audio signal processing that go back to the work of the IND over the past 25 years. The synergies of the signal and coding algorithms of mobile phones and digital hearing aids were also taken up early on at the IND.