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We present a novel multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) decoder accelerator and its associated integrated design environment. The accelerator architecture allows tradeoffs in decoding algorithm, antenna configuration, modulation scheme, and bandwidth at run-time via user programming. The accelerator delivers an improvement over a general purpose digital signal processor (DSP) reaching three orders of magnitude for matrix processing and linear MIMO decoding. The hardware architecture is user-configurable through ten independently set parameters. The parameterization allows independent control over the size and structure of the processing core as well as the structure, size, and access scheme of data memory. We provide a custom high level script and a scalable machine level instruction set and compiler. The elements of hardware configuration and programmability are combined in a user-friendly design flow that takes the MIMO decoder designer from simulation to hardware with dedicated-hardware-like performance in no time.