A baseline h.264 video encoder hardware design
Aysu, Aydın (2010) A baseline h.264 video encoder hardware design. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1306351 (Table of Contents)
The recently developed H.264 / MPEG-4 Part 10 video compression standard achieves better video compression efficiency than previous video compression standards at the expense of increased computational complexity and power consumption. Multiple reference frame (MRF) Motion Estimation (ME) is the most computationally intensive and power consuming part of H.264 video encoders. Therefore, in this thesis, we designed and implemented a reconfigurable baseline H.264 video encoder hardware for real-time portable applications in which the number of reference frames used for MRF ME can be configured based on the application requirements in order to trade-off video coding efficiency and power consumption. The proposed H.264 video encoder hardware is based on an existing low cost H.264 intra frame coder hardware and it includes new reconfigurable MRF ME, mode decision and motion compensation hardware. We first proposed a low complexity H.264 MRF ME algorithm and a low energy adaptive hardware for its real-time implementation. The proposed MRF ME algorithm reduces the computational complexity of MRF ME by using a dynamically determined number of reference frames for each Macroblock and early termination. The proposed MRF ME hardware architecture is implemented in Verilog HDL and mapped to a Xilinx Spartan 6 FPGA. The FPGA implementation is verified with post place & route simulations. The proposed H.264 MRF ME hardware has 29-72% less energy consumption on this FPGA than an H.264 MRF ME hardware using 5 reference frames for all MBs with a negligible PSNR loss. We then designed the H.264 video encoder hardware and implemented it in Verilog HDL. The proposed video encoder hardware is mapped to a Xilinx Virtex 6 FPGA and verified with post place & route simulations. The bitstream generated by the proposed video encoder hardware for an input frame is successfully decoded by H.264 Joint Model reference software decoder and the decoded frame is displayed using a YUV Player tool for visual verification. The FPGA implementation of the proposed H.264 video encoder hardware works at 135 MHz, it can code 55 CIF (352x288) frames per second, and its power consumption ranges between 115mW and 235mW depending on the number of reference frames used for MRF ME.
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