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A general-purpose programmable digital signal processor (DSP) has been implemented in 1.5-/spl mu/m (L/SUB eff/) NMOS technology using full-custom circuit design for high performance. The DSP has a 32-bit instruction set, 32-bit data path, and full-hardware 32-bit floating-point arithmetic. The architecture is described section by section, and an overview of the instruction set is presented. The extensive design verification process applied to the DSP is also described.