Variable block size motion estimation (VBSME) is becoming the new coding technique in H.264/AVC. This article presents a low-power VLSI implementation for VBSME, which employs a fast full-search block-matching algorithm to reduce power consumption, while preserving the optimal motion vectors (MVs). The fast full-search algorithm is based on the comparison of the current minimum sum of absolute difference (SAD) to a conservative lower bound so that unnecessary SAD calculations can be eliminated. We first experimentally determine the specific conservative lower bound of SAD and then implement the fast full-search algorithm in FPGA and 0.18 μm CMOS technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a fast full-search block-matching algorithm is explored to reduce power consumption in the context of VBSME and implemented in hardware. Experiment results show that the proposed design can save power consumption by 45% compared to conventional VBSME designs that give optimal MV based on the full-search algorithms.
- H. 264/AVC
- fast full-search block-matching
- low-power design
- variable block size motion estimation