The paper presents an optimized design method for a flexible and economical embedded DSP system that can implement complex processing algorithms as biometric recognition, real-time image processing, etc. It consists of a floating-point DSP, 512 Kbytes data RAM, 1 Mbytes FLASH program memory, a CPLD for achieving flexible logic control of input channel and a RS-485 transceiver for local network communication. Because of employing a high performance-price ratio DSP TMS320C6712 and a large FLASH in the design, this system permits loading and performing complex algorithms with little algorithm optimization and code reduction. The CPLD provides flexible logic control for the whole DSP board, especially in input channel, and allows convenient interface between different sensors and DSP system. The transceiver circuit can transfer data between DSP and host computer. In the paper, some key technologies are also introduced which make the whole system work efficiently. Because of the characters referred above, the hardware is a perfect flat for multi-channel data collection, image processing, and other signal processing with high performance and adaptability. The application section of this paper presents how this hardware is adapted for the biometric identification system with high identification precision. The result reveals that this hardware is easy to interface with a CMOS imager and is capable of carrying out complex biometric identification algorithms, which require real-time process.