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Proceedings Paper

Implementation of H.264 encoder on general-purpose processors with hyper-threading technology
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Paper Abstract

H.264 is the emerging video coding standard, which aims at compressing high-quality video contents at low bit-rates. While its new encoding and decoding processes are similar to many previous standards, the new standard includes a number of new features and thus requires much more computation than most existing standards do. The complexity of H.264 standard poses a large amount of challenges to implementing the encoder/decoder in real-time via software on personal computers. Even after 2~3x performance improvement with media instruction on modern general-purpose processors and another 2~4x improvement from algorithmic optimization, the H.264 encoder is still too complicated to be implemented in real-time on a single processor. Based on the detailed analysis of the possibilities of parallelism in H.264 encoder, we proposed an efficient multithreading implementation of the H.264 video encoder. In order to guarantee enough concurrency of the whole system, an elaborate macroblock and inter-frame parallel scheduling scheme is presented. In addition, our macroblock-based multithreading scheme achieves almost no video quality losses in contrast to other parallelization schemes. Our results show that the multithreaded encoder can obtain another 3.96x speed-up on a four-processor system or 4.6x speed-up on a four-processor system with Hyper-Treading Technology. The techniques demonstrated in this work can be applied not only to H.264, but also to other video/image coding/decoding applications on personal computers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 January 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5308, Visual Communications and Image Processing 2004, (18 January 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.525581
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Q. Li, Intel Corp. (China)
Yen-Kuang Chen, Intel Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5308:
Visual Communications and Image Processing 2004
Sethuraman Panchanathan; Bhaskaran Vasudev, Editor(s)

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