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In embedded data-dominated applications, a global system-level data transfer and storage exploration phase is crucial in obtaining a cost- and performance-efficient solution. We have developed a novel formalism to describe reusable blocks such that the essential part of the design exploration freedom is retained. This formalism is the basis for a system-level reuse methodology which allows reusing large parts of the design as heavily optimized structural VHDL or assembly code and describes the costly data access-related constructs at higher levels in the code hierarchy. Compared to a reuse approach based on fixed blocks, considerable power and area savings can be obtained, as demonstrated on real-life video and modem applications.