An architecture is presented for front-end processing in a wideband array system which samples real signals. Such a system may be encountered in cellular telephony, radar, or low SNR digital communications receivers. The subbanding of data enables system data rate reduction, and creates a narrowband condition for adaptive processing within the subbands. The front-end performs passband filtering, equalization, subband decomposition and adaptive beamforming. The subbanding operation is efficiently implemented using a prototype lowpass finite impulse response (FIR) filter, decomposed into polyphase form, combined with a Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) block and a bank of modulating postmultipliers. If the system acquires real inputs, a single FFT may be used to operate on two channels, but a channel separation network is then required for recovery of individual channel data. A sequence of steps is described based on data transformation techniques that enables a maximally efficient implementation of the processing stages and eliminates the need for channel separation. Operation count is reduced, and several layers of processing are eliminated.