A template for reconfigurable instruction set processors is described. This template defines a design space that enables the exploration of processors potentially suitable for flexible, power and cost efficient implementations of embedded multimedia applications, such as video compression in a hand held device. The template is based on a VLIW processor with a reconfigurable instruction set. In the future this template will be used for design space exploration, compiler retargeting and automatic hardware synthesis. Several existing reconfigurable-and non-reconfigurable processors were mapped onto the template to assess its expressiveness.