Multimedia system design presents challenges from the perspectives of both hardware and software. Each media in a multimedia environment requires different processes, techniques, algorithms and hardware implementations. Multimedia processing which necessitates real time digital video, audio, and 3D graphics processing is an essential part of new systems as 2D graphics and image processing was in current systems. Multimedia applications require efficient VLSI implementations for various media processing algorithms. Emerging multimedia standards and algorithms will result in hardware systems of high complexity. In addition to recent advances in enabling VLSI technology for high density and fast circuit implementations, special investigation of architectural approaches is also required. In the past few years, multimedia hardware design has captured the most attentions among researchers. New programmable processors, high-speed storage and modern parallelism techniques are among the variety of subjects, which are being addressed in this domain. A detailed categorization of available multimedia processing strategies is required to help designers in adapting these techniques into new architectures. Some of important options in multimedia hardware design include: processor structure, parallelization and granularity, data distribution techniques, instruction level parallelism, memory interface and flexibility. In this paper, we address important issues in the design of a programmable multimedia processor.