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Signal processing is a prime application for very large scale integration (VLSI) technology and systems-on-chips (SoCs), so it should be no surprise that a great deal of effort has been put into the design of architectures for signal processing. The need for programmability, real-time performance, and low-power operation are all driving factors in the development of these architectures. Although multicore processors have recently emerged for desktop and server computing, single-chip multiprocessors have a much longer history in embedded computing thanks to the strict requirements placed on these systems. Multiprocessor SoCs (MPSoCs) have been developed in response to the needs of embedded signal processing and multimedia computing. This article surveys the requirements on embedded signal processing systems and how those requirements are reflected in MPSoC architectures and the software developed for them.