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A system architecture for mobile terminals is proposed, in which the signal processing for the cellular communications channel and the associated protocol stack processing are implemented independent of the application system, which handles audio and video processing functions and the user interface. This approach enables the use of open operating systems for the application system and the integration of connectivity communications pipes into the system, while maintaining the integrity and huge investment in the protocol stack software of the cellular subsystem. High speed serial links are used to connect the processing subsystems and the video peripherals. This improves the modularity of the solution and gives the equipment manufacturers increased flexibility.