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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transformable computing for MPEG video coding Chow, Hoi Au Stephen


The dynamical reconfigurability of FPGAs permits real-time modification of application specific integrated circuits without complicated fabrication process. The power of reconfigurable hardware has been recently utilized to achieve a new type of high performance computer architecture known as Transformable Computing. The real-time reconfigurability and highly customizable hardware of transformable computing systems are especially suited to multimedia applications which often involve computations with widely varying processing and communication requirements. In this thesis, an FPGA-based transformable computing system has been developed for digital video (MPEG-1) processing. The thesis proposes a systematic approach for mapping complex applications (such as video processing) onto a transformable coprocessor attached to a standard workstation. Various algorithms in the MPEG-1 video processing standard, such as DCT/IDCT, Huffman coding, quantization and motion estimation, are used as implementation targets. The mapping approach uses a number of performance criteria to develop an efficient transformable coprocessor solution to video processing under hardware, software, and interface constraints. This transformable solution requires careful analysis of data movement frequency and program partitioning strategies. The transformable MPEG-1 coprocessor has been fully developed, interfaced, and tested with MPEG-1 compatible data. The results show that the transformable coprocessor can handle complex digital video coding tasks adequately. Among the different limiting factors to the coprocessor system performance, data transfer between the host system and the coprocessor, and FPGA gate density pose the most significant constraints. Although the performance enhancement achieved varies for different algorithms, the results clearly indicate the promising future of the transformable computing paradigm as a viable and powerful tool for high performance multimedia computing.

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