This paper outlines the characterisitcs of many of the new processor architectures and what you can expect in performance increases by using these new processors in your embedded design. Topics that will be covered include superscalar, speculative execution, simultaneous multi-threading (SMT/Hyperthreading), SMP, and multi-core processors and the impact these technologies can have on performance. Also highlighted will be how these technologies complicate system debugging and what software developers need to be aware of to avoid design pitfalls when using these processors.