Today’s digital signal processors (DSPs) have achieved such an attractive mix of performance, peripheral mix, power dissipation and pricing that many system designers are eager to explore their benefits over the processors with which they’ve traditionally designed. One potential hurdle to this is the large amount of legacy C/C++ code they’ve developed for their application space. Clearly, these engineers would like to leverage their existing high-level code base on a DSP platform while taking advantage of DSP architectural features that enable performance unattainable on their former platform. Moreover, they require a familiar, intuitive development environment, as well as a straightforward way to implement assembly language routines selectively for increased performance. This paper discusses programming strategies and techniques for DSPs in today’s development environment.