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As the advance of high quality displays such as organic light- emitting diode (OLED) or laser TV, the importance of a real-time high dynamic range (HDR) data processing for display devices increases significantly. Many tone mapping algorithms are proposed for rendering HDR images or videos on display screens. The choice of tone mapping algorithm depends on characteristics of displays such as luminance range, contrast ratio and gamma correction. An ideal HDR tone mapping processor should include several tone mapping algorithms and be able to select an appropriate one for different kind of devices and applications. Such a HDR tone mapping processor has characteristics of robust core functionality, high flexibility, and low area consumption. An ARM core based system on chip (SOC) platform with HDR tone mapping ASIC is suitable for such applications. In this paper, we present a systematic methodology to develop an optimized architecture for tone mapping processor in the ARM SOC platform. We illustrate the approach by a HDR tone mapping processor that can handle both photographic and gradient compression. The optimization is achieved through four major steps: common module extraction, computation power enhancement, hardware/software partition and cost function analysis. Based on the proposed scheme, we develop an integrated photographic and gradient compression HDR tone mapping processor that can process 1024times768 images at 60 fps. This design runs at 100 MHz clock and consumes area of 13.8 mm2 under TSMC 0.13 mum technology with 50% improvement in speed and area compared with previous results.