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Low-level computer vision algorithms have extreme computational requirements. In this work, we compare two real-time architectures developed using FPGA and GPU devices for the computation of phase-based optical flow, stereo, and local image features (energy, orientation, and phase). The presented approach requires a massive degree of parallelism to achieve real-time performance and allows us to compare FPGA and GPU design strategies and trade-offs in a much more complex scenario than previous contributions. Based on this analysis, we provide suggestions to real-time system designers for selecting the most suitable technology, and for optimizing system development on this platform, for a number of diverse applications.