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Open Access Open Badges Research Article

Low-Power Bitstream-Residual Decoder for H.264/AVC Baseline Profile Decoding

Ke Xu* and Chiu-Sing Choy

Author Affiliations

Department of Electronic Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems 2009, 2009:425173  doi:10.1155/2009/425173

Published: 21 March 2010


We present the design and VLSI implementation of a novel low-power bitstream-residual decoder for H.264/AVC baseline profile. It comprises a syntax parser, a parameter decoder, and an Inverse Quantization Inverse Transform (IQIT) decoder. The syntax parser detects and decodes each incoming codeword in the bitstream under the control of a hierarchical Finite State Machine (FSM); the IQIT decoder performs inverse transform and quantization with pipelining and parallelism. Various power reduction techniques, such as data-driven based on statistic results, nonuniform partition, precomputation, guarded evaluation, hierarchical FSM decomposition, TAG method, zero-block skipping, and clock gating , are adopted and integrated throughout the bitstream-residual decoder. With innovative architecture, the proposed design is able to decode QCIF video sequences of 30 fps at a clock rate as low as 1.5 MHz. A prototype H.264/AVC baseline decoding chip utilizing the proposed decoder is fabricated in UMC 0.18 m 1P6M CMOS technology. The proposed design is measured under 1 V 1.8 V supply with 0.1 V step. It dissipates 76 W at 1 V and 253 W at 1.8 V.