There is a recognized need to improve the design methodology of large real-time embedded signal processing systems implemented with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) multiprocessor (MP) hardware and software. Some very useful and effective detailed design tool frameworks have begun to appear, which allow the designer to create deployable real-time application software for COTS MP systems. Still remaining is a need to close the gap between specification and detailed design by capturing system requirements in a system-level design exploration framework. Such a framework is being prototyped which supports exploring COTS MP systemlevel design options before committing to a specific technology. These technologies will be surveyed and the prototype framework will be demonstrated, along with a presentation of its logic, enabling attendees to understand their COTS MP options and how to evaluate them.