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Latest generation DSPs are becoming more efficient, being able to improve their forerunners while reducing their internal memory size to lower the cost. In this paper, an H.264 video decoder based on a latest generation DSP is described. Both the EDMA and the memory architecture of the processor have been fully exploited to increase the execution speed. Profiling tests have been carried out by using digital TV streams and DVD transcoded sequences. The speed of the new DSP running the decoder is 16% better than that of a forerunner with 20% more internal memory running the same decoder.