A Fine-Grain Scalable and Low Memory Cost Variable Block Size Motion Estimation Architecture for H.264/AVC

Zhenyu LIU
Satoshi GOTO

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E89-C    No.12    pp.1928-1936
Publication Date: 2006/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e89-c.12.1928
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Integrated Electronics
H.264,  AVC,  variable block size motion estimation,  VLSI architecture,  

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One full search variable block size motion estimation (VBSME) architecture with integer pixel accuracy is proposed in this paper. This proposed architecture has following features: (1) Through widening data path from the search area memories, m processing element groups (PEG) could be scheduled to work in parallel and fully utilized, where m is a factor of sixteen. Each PEG has sixteen processing elements (PE) and just costs 8.5K gates. This feature provides users more flexibility to make tradeoff between the hardware cost and the performance. (2) Based on pipelining and multi-cycle data path techniques, this architecture can work at high clock frequency. (3) The memory partition number is greatly reduced. When sixteen PEGs are adopted, only two memory partitions are required for the search area data storage. Therefore, both the system hardware cost and power consumption can be saved. A 16-PEG design with 4832 search range has been implemented with TSMC 0.18 µm CMOS technology. In typical work conditions, its maximum clock frequency is 261 MHz. Compared with the previous 2-D architecture [9], about 13.4% hardware cost and 5.7% power consumption can be saved.