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The architecture, implementation, and applications of the TMS32020, a second-generation VLSI digital signal processor, are described. The processor has many special features which provide a significant advance over previous VLSI digital signal processors. Its multiprocessor capabilities further distinguish it, allowing for much more flexibility in overall system design. The architecture of the device allows a dual bus structure to be maintained on-chip, while external bus hardware requirements are minimized via the multiplexing of these buses externally. Some of the notable features incorporated onto the device include two large on-chip RAM blocks, large external program/data address spaces, single-cycle multiply/accumulate instructions, hardware and instructions for efficient memory management, and a versatile multiprocessor interface.