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A hardware implementation of a fuzzy processor suitable for morphological color image processing applications is presented for the first time. From the hardware point of view, only a small number of algorithms for hardware implementation of soft gray-scale morphological filters have been reported in the literature, since research in mathematical morphology focuses mainly on possible extensions of the standard definitions (e.g., color and fuzzy mathematical morphology). The proposed digital hardware structure is based on a sequence of pipeline stages, and parallel processing is used in order to minimize computational times. It is capable of performing the basic morphological operations of standard and soft erosion/dilation for color images of 24-bit resolution. For the computation of morphological operations, a 3 × 3-pixel image neighborhood and the corresponding structuring element are used. However, the system can be easily expanded to accommodate windows of larger sizes. The architecture of the processor is generic; the units that perform the fuzzy inference can be utilized for other fuzzy applications. It was designed, compiled, and simulated using the MAX+PLUS II Programmable Logic Development System by Altera Corporation. The fuzzy processor exhibits a level of inference performance of 601 KFLIPS with 54 rules, and can be used for real-time applications where the need for short processing times is of the utmost importance. The selection of a latest technology computer system (Pentium 4/3 GHz with SSE-2) can speed up image processing applications, but the time required still cannot be compared to the corresponding time using this hardware structure.