Multimedia Signal Processors: An Architectural Platform with Algorithmic Compilation

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Novel algorithmic features of multimedia applications and advances in VLSI technologies are driving forces behind the new multimedia signal processors. We propose an architecture platform which could provide high performance and flexibility, and would require less external I/O and memory access. It is comprised of array processors to be used as the hardware accelerator and RISC cores to be used as the basis of the programmable processor. It is a hierarchical and scalable architecture style which facilitates the hardware-software codesign of multimedia signal processing circuits and systems. While some control-intensive functions can be implemented using programmable CPUs, other computation-intensive functions can rely on hardware accelerators.

To compile multimedia algorithms, we also present an operation placement and scheduling scheme suitable for the proposed architectural platform. Our scheme addresses data reusability and exploits local communication in order to avoid the memory/communication bandwidth bottleneck, which leads to faster program execution. Our method shows a promising performance: a linear speed-up of 16 times can be achieved for the block-matching motion estimation algorithm and the true motion tracking algorithm, which have formed many multimedia applications (e.g., MPEG-2 and MPEG-4).

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