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An integrated CAD system for the automated design of digital signal-processing (DSP) circuits for audio and telecommunication applications is described. The system uses as unique input a symbolic description of algorithm. This representation is translated into an actual layout using a two-step process. First, the symbolic input is mapped into the target architecture, which consists basically of a set of concurrent processors and dedicated I/O circuitry. The resulting hardware configuration is compiled into a layout description through a full exploitation of the hierarchy and the modularity of the architecture, calling consecutively a tiler, a floorplanner, and a global placement and routing tool. All these layout generation tools are able to support a wide range of technologies. The provision of a dedicated register transfer level simulator allows for the efficient debugging and algorithmic checking of the real-time operating signal-processing algorithms. The efficiency and the usefulness of this design methodology has been demonstrated by multiple examples. Experiments have shown that the use of these techniques can reduce the complete design process to a few months.