Hardware-oriented early detection algorithms for 4 × 4 and 8 × 8 all-zero blocks in H.264

Qin Liu*, Yiqing Huang, Satoshi Goto, Takeshi Ikenaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


H.264 is the latest HDTV video compression standard, which provides a significant improvement in coding efficiency at the cost of huge computation complexity. After transform and quantization, if all the coefficients of the block's residue data are zero, this block is called allzero block (AZB). Provided that an AZB can be detected early, the process of transform and quantization on an AZB can be skipped, which reduces significant redundant computations. In this paper, a theoretical analysis is performed for the sufficient condition for AZB detection. As a result, a partial sum of absolute difference (SAD) based 4 × 4 AZB detection algorithm is derived. And then, a hardware-oriented AZB detection algorithm is proposed by modifying the order of SAD calculation. Furthermore, a quantization parameter (QP) oriented 8×8 AZB detection algorithm is proposed according to the AZB's statistical analysis. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the previous methods in all cases and achieves major improvement of computation reduction in the range from 6.7% to 42.3% for 4 × 4 blocks, from 0.24% to 79.48% for 8 × 8 blocks. The computation reduction increases as QP increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1071
Number of pages9
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1


  • All-zero block
  • Early detection
  • H.264
  • Hardware-oriented
  • Sum of absolute difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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