A Hardware Implementation of a Content-Based Motion Estimation Algorithm for Real-Time MPEG-4 Video Coding

Shen LI  Takeshi IKENAGA  Hideki TAKEDA  Masataka MATSUI  Satoshi GOTO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E89-A   No.4   pp.932-940
Publication Date: 2006/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1093/ietfec/e89-a.4.932
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Selected Papers from the 18th Workshop on Circuits and Systems in Karuizawa)
content-based,  motion estimation,  power-efficient,  real-time,  MPEG-4,  

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Power efficiency and real-time processing capability are two major issues in today's mobile video applications. We proposed a novel Motion Estimation (ME) engine for power-efficient real-time MPEG-4 video coding based on our previously proposed content-based ME algorithm [8],[13]. By adopting Full Search (FS) and Three Step Search (TSS) alternatively according to the nature of video contents, this algorithm keeps the visual quality very close to that of FS with only 3% of its computational power. We designed a flexible Block Matching (BM) Unit with 16-PE SIMD data path so that the adaptive ME can be performed at a much lower clock frequency and hardware cost as compared with previous FS based work. To reduce the energy cost caused by excessive external memory access, on-chip SRAM is also utilized and optimized for parallel processing in the BM Unit. The ME engine is fabricated with TSMC 0.18 µm technology. When processing QCIF (15 fps) video, the estimated power is 2.88 mW@4.16 MHz (supply voltage: 1.62 V). It is believed to be a favorable contribution to the video encoder LSI design for mobile applications.