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Decoding of high bitrate video bitstreams is an application field traditionally claimed by dedicated hardware architectures, since embedded general purpose processors are not able to satisfy the high performance requirements of entropy decoding. We present a fully programmable multi-standard bitstream processor. The proposed bit granular memory and data path architecture provides efficient processing and storage capabilities for data words of arbitrary length. Running at a 300 MHz clock frequency, the processor is able to decode, e.g., MPEG-2 and VC-1 1080p HDTV bitstreams with a maximum bitrate of 100 Mbit/s.