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Reconfigurable and approximate computing for video coding

Reconfigurable and approximate computing for video coding

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The Chapter begins with a discussion of the constraints and needs of video coding systems. The lack in flexibility of traditional monolithic codec specifications, not suitable to model commonalities among codecs and foster reusability among successive codec generations/updates, was the main trigger for the development of a new standard initiative within the ISO/IEC MPEG committee, called reconfigurable video coding (RVC). The MPEG-RVC framework exploits the dataflow nature behind video coding to foster flexible and reconfigurable codec design, as well as to support dynamic reconfiguration. The Chapter goes on to consider that the inherent resiliency of various functional blocks (like motion estimation in the high-efficiency video coding, HEVC) and the varying levels of user perception make video coding suitable to apply approximate computing techniques. Approximate computing, if properly supported at design time, allows achieving run-time trade-offs, representing a new direction in hardware-software codesign research. The main assumption behind approximate computing, exploited within video coding, is that the degree of accuracy (in this case during codec execution) is not required to be the same all the time. The final part of the Chapter attempts to put together the concepts addressed and remarks on which are, in the authors' opinion, some interesting research directions.

Chapter Contents:

  • 9.1 Constraints and needs of video-coding systems
  • 9.1.1 Chapter organization
  • 9.2 Reconfigurable video coding
  • 9.2.1 Overview of the standard and its features
  • 9.2.2 Dynamic reconfiguration exploiting MPEG-RVC
  • 9.2.3 MPEG-RVC key remarks
  • 9.3 Approximate video-coding systems
  • 9.3.1 Data-level approximation
  • 9.3.2 Hardware level approximation
  • 9.3.3 Computation level approximation
  • 9.3.4 Approximate computing key remarks
  • 9.4 Final remarks
  • Acknowledgment
  • References

Inspec keywords: hardware-software codesign; video codecs; video coding

Other keywords: user perception; dynamic reconfiguration; reconfigurable computing; motion estimation; codec design; functional blocks; ISO/IEC MPEG committee new standard initiative; high-efficiency video coding; MPEG-RVC framework; hardware-software codesign; dataflow; HEVC; approximate computing

Subjects: Codecs, coders and decoders; Video signal processing; Hardware-software codesign; Image and video coding; Television and video equipment, systems and applications; Electronic engineering computing

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