We develop wavelet engines on a digital signal processors (DSP) platform, the target application being image and intraframe video compression by means of the forthcoming JPEG2000 and Motion-JPEG2000 standards. We describe two implementations, based on the lifting scheme and the filter bank scheme, respectively, and we present experimental results on code profiling. In particular, we address the following problems: (1) evaluating the execution speed of a wavelet engine on a modern DSP; (2) comparing the actual execution speed of the lifting scheme and the filter bank scheme with the theoretical results; (3) using the on-board direct memory access (DMA) to possibly optimize the execution speed. The results allow to assess the performance of a modern DSP in the image coding task, as well as to compare the lifting and filter bank performance in a realistic application scenario. Finally, guidelines for optimizing the code efficiency are provided by investigating the possible use of the on-board DMA.