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In multimedia applications, various video encoding/decoding standards such as MPEG2, MPEG1 and emerging algorithms call for a DSP solution of the extremely computation-intensive tasks. Several DSPs have been developed based on intensive pipeline processing at the macro-block level. In these DSPs, macroblock-based pipeline memory slices are needed for each pipeline stage. Programmability is limited by the hard-wired macros to be incorporated such as DCT and Quantizer. A microprocessor or a media-processor with multimedia-enhanced instructions has not yet been applied to MPEG2 encoding. This DSP for real-time codec applications has the following features: (a) extensive use of data parallelism inside the macro-block data structure, (b) flexible data path for coding algorithms to enhance gate utilization and to reduce the use of macro-block pipeline memory, (c) data path design suitable for (but not limited to) fast DCT/IDCT algorithms.