A Digital Signal Processor, or DSP, is used in when an application requires higher performance on signal processing algorithms than that provided by a more general microprocessor. While DSPs have traditionally been programmed in assembly language, advances in DSP architecture and compiler technology allow the use of higher level languages, such as C, with only a modest performance compromise. This paper examines the issues of using C on DSPs, and provides the background knowledge necessary for successful use of the C programming on DSPs.