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Power has become the most critical design constraint for embedded handheld devices. This paper proposes a power-efficient SIMD architecture, referred to as Diet SODA, for DSP applications. The key design idea is to apply near-threshold operation on a single instruction and multiple data (SIMD) architecture to significantly lower the power consumption. The major features of Diet SODA are very wide SIMD width, scatter/gather data prefetcher, and dual mode operation. A case study was performed on digital still camera (DSC) applications; the results show that Diet SODA achieves ∼130x better performance and ∼340x better energy efficiency than a DSP solution.