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The design of embedded hardware/software systems is often underlying strict requirements concerning various aspects, including real time performance, power consumption and die area. Especially for data intensive applications, such as multimedia systems, the number of memory accesses is a dominant factor for these aspects. In order to meet the requirements and design a well-adapted system, the software parts need to be optimized and an adequate hardware architecture needs to be designed. For complex applications this design space exploration can be rather difficult and requires in-depth analysis of the application and its implementation alternatives. Tools are required which aid the designer in the design, optimization and scheduling of hardware and software. We present a profiling tool for fast and accurate performance and memory access analysis of embedded systems and show how it can be applied within the design flow. This concept has been proven in the design of a mixed hardware/software system for H.264/AVC video decoding.