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A real-time cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system has been implemented using digital signal processing (DSP) technology. The system enables real-time acquisition, processing, and display of ungated cardiac movies at moderate video rates of 20 images/s. A custom graphical user interface (GUI) provides interactive control of data acquisition parameters and image display functions. Images can be compressed into moving-picture experts group (MPEG) movies, but are displayed on the console without compression during the scan. Compared to existing real-time MRI systems, implementation with DSPs allows rapid parallel computations, fast data transfers, and greater system flexibility, including the ability to scale to multiple channels, at the expense of somewhat higher component cost.