Real-time signal processing and the applications that utilize it are changing the electronics market. Consumers are inundated with new products and technologies that are smarter, faster, smaller and more interconnected than ever, but which ultimately leave them wanting more. They want greater speed, effectiveness and portability, and they want it now. This paper includes a feasibility report that examines the benefits of seven of the most popular architectures (ASIC, ASSP, configurable, DSP, FPGA, MCU and RISC/GPP) in a direct-comparison format. First, the criteria will be explained, and then applied to each of the seven options. Each option will be graphed according to its relative strengths and weaknesses based on these criteria and then discussed individually.