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This work studies the design and multiplier-less realization of a new software radio receiver (SRR) with reduced system delay. It employs low-delay finite-impulse response (FIR) and digital allpass filters to effectively reduce the system delay of the multistage decimators in SRRs. The optimal least-square and minimax designs of these low-delay FIR and allpass-based filters are formulated as a semi-definite programming (SDP) problem, which allows zero magnitude constraint at ω=π to be incorporated readily as additional linear matrix inequalities (LMIs). By implementing the sampling rate converter (SRC) using a variable digital filter (VDF) immediately after the integer decimators, the needs for an expensive programmable FIR filter in the traditional SRR is avoided. A new method for the optimal minimax design of this VDF-based SRC using SDP is also proposed and compared with traditional weight least squares method. Other implementation issues including the multiplier-less and digital signal processor (DSP) realizations of the SRR and the generation of the clock signal in the SRC are also studied. Design results show that the system delay and implementation complexities (especially in terms of high-speed variable multipliers) of the proposed architecture are considerably reduced as compared with conventional approaches.