H.264 Baseline Real-time High Definition Encoder on CELL

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Datorteknik

Abstract: In this thesis a H.264 baseline high definition encoder is implemented on CELL processor. The target video sequence is YUV420 1080p at 30 frames per second in our encoder. To meet real-time requirements, a system architecture which reduces DMA requests is designed for large memory accessing. Several key computing kernels: Intra frame encoding, motion estimation searching and entropy coding are designed and ported to CELL processor units. A main challenge is to find a good tradeoff between DMA latency and processing time. The limited 256K bytes on-chip memory of SPE has to be organized efficiently in SIMD way. CAVLC is performed in non-real-time on the PPE.   The experimental results show that our encoder is able to encode I frame in high quality and encode common 1080p video sequences in real-time. With the using of five SPEs and 63KB executable code size, 20.72M cycles are needed to encode one P frame partitions for one SPE. The average PSNR of P frames increases a maximum of 1.52%. In the case of fast speed video sequence, 64x64 search range gets better frame qualities than 16x16 search range and increases only less than two times computing cycles of 16x16. Our results also demonstrate that more potential power of the CELL processor can be utilized in multimedia computing.   The H.264 main profile will be implemented in future phases of this encoder project. Since the platform we use is IBM Full-System Simulator, DMA performance in a real CELL processor is an interesting issue. Real-time entropy coding is another challenge to CELL.

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