The fractional Fourier transform is a time-frequency distribution and an extension of the classical Fourier transform. There are several known applications of the fractional Fourier transform in the areas of signal processing, especially in signal restoration and noise removal. This paper provides an introduction to the fractional Fourier transform and its applications. These applications demand the implementation of the discrete fractional Fourier transform on a digital signal processor (DSP). The details of the implementation of the discrete fractional Fourier transform on ADSP-2192 are provided. The effect of finite register length on implementation of discrete fractional Fourier transform matrix is discussed in some detail. This is followed by the details of the implementation and a theoretical model for the fixed-point errors involved in the implementation of this algorithm. It is hoped that this implementation and fixed-point error analysis will lead to a better understanding of the issues involved in finite register length implementation of the discrete fractional Fourier transform and will help the signal processing community make better use of the transform. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.