Programmability is being added to wireless communication modem systems more frequently now that there is a need for multi-standard support, as well as greater flexibility in handling algorithm changes post-silicon. This white paper begins with a comprehensive summary of the algorithms for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) modem systems. This is followed by a detailed description of how the WCDMA algorithms can be implemented using Cadence Tensilica DSP cores and programmable accelerators for a WCDMA system. Finally, a use case is given on easily updating an existing LTE/LTE-Advanced modem system to become a multi-standard 3G/WCDMA system.