An embedded multimedia system is being constructed to provide highquality video and audio processing capabilities for desktop multimedia workstations. This versatile JPEG-based system is capable of sustaining a throughput of 2 MBytes per second compressed data rate, which is a necessary condition for studio quality video and audio at the CCIR 601 resolution. The main challenge in design work is to methodologically evaluate critical data paths to ensure that the hardware system meets the periodic deadline of the isochronous multimedia data streams (e.g. 1/30 second per frame for motion video). We will describe in this paper the system design objectives, system architecture, and preliminary results of performance analysis.