The most difficult problem for designers of high-performance, real-time digital signal processing systems is simply moving data within the system because of data throughput limitations.

Since many traditional methods of handling I/O tasks are no longer viable because they cannot keep up with the speeds of new DSP and RISC processors and system efficiencies are not met, several new techniques to support fast data movement throughout the system have been created. This paper discusses the demands of these new processors and explains how direct connections using private, high-speed data paths like those provided by mezzanines, front panel serial and parallel interfaces and backplane fabrics can significantly reduce or even eliminate data flow bottlenecks and arbitration for shared resources.