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Expensive top-down iterations are often required in the design cycle of complex DSP systems. In this paper, we introduce two levels of abstraction in the design flow by systematically categorizing the architectural decisions. As a result, the top-down iteration loop is broken. We also present a technique to capture and inject the architectural decisions such that the system models can be created and simulated efficiently. The concepts are illustrated by a realistic speech processing example, which is implemented using the AMBA on-chip architecture. Our methodology offers a smooth path from the functional modeling phase to the implementation level, facilitates the reuse of HW and SW components, and enjoys existing tool support at the backend.