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ABSTRACT: This work proposes a new hardware architecture for the H.264/AVC CAVLC (Context-Based Adaptive Variable Length Coding) entropy encoder. The architecture is composed of a macro-pipeline formed by 3 stages: (i) Scan, (ii) Encoding and (iii) Assembler. Our architecture employs a new scheme to process two coefficients each cycle at the Scan stage. Thus, the fixed bottleneck at this stage is eliminated obtaining a significant performance gain compared to related works. In order to allow this increase in performance, the proposed architecture also processes in a two-way parallel hardware the most frequent syntactic elements (Level and Run_Before) of the algorithm. The synthesis for Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGAs demonstrates that the proposed architecture is able to reach the performance for real-time HDTV encoding while running at 60 MHz. At its maximum frequency, our design is able to achieve the encoding of 115 HD1080p fps (frames per second) in FPGA implementation.
17th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits, and Systems, ICECS 2010, Athens, Greece, 12-15 December, 2010; 01/2010