This paper presents a compact hardware architecture of Context-Based Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding (CABAC) codec for H.264/AVC. The similarities between encoding algorithm and decoding algorithm are explored to achieve remarkable hardware reuse. System-level hardware/software partition is conducted to improve overall performance. Meanwhile, the characteristics of CABAC algorithm are utilized to implement dynamic pipeline scheme, which increases the processing throughput with very small hardware overhead. Proposed architecture is implemented under 0.18 μm technology. Results show that the core area of proposed design is 0.496 mm 2 when the maximum clock frequency is 230 MHz. It is estimated that the proposed architecture can support CABAC encoding or decoding for HD1080i resolution at a speed of 30 frame/s.
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