Audio requirements are soaring. Whereas audio used to be done in a few spare cycles of the main CPU, decoding today’s Blu-ray Disc 24-bit, 192 kHz high-definition audio streams, or post-processing 9.1 channel Pro Logic IIz streams, requires significant performance. An obvious solution is to offload the processing to one or more dedicated audio digital signal processors (DSPs), such as the DesignWare ARC AS211SFX/AS221BD Audio Processors, but this complicates system design and introduces a number of hardware and software challenges. This white paper elaborates on these challenges and presents a number of architectural solutions.