Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

CAL Dataflow Components for an MPEG RVC AVC Baseline Encoder


In this paper, an efficient H.264/AVC baseline encoder, described in RVC-CAL actor language, is introduced. The main aim of the paper is twofold: a) to demonstrate the flexibility and ease that is provided by RVC-CAL, which allows for efficient implementation of the presented encoder, and b) to shed light on the advantages that can be brought into the RVC framework by including such encoding tools. The main modules of the designed encoder include: Inter Frame Prediction (Motion Estimation/Compensation), Intra Frame Prediction, and Entropy Coding. Descriptions of the designed modules, accompanied with RVC-CAL design issues are provided. A comparison between different development approaches is also provided. The obtained results show that specifying complex video codecs (e.g. H.264/AVC encoder) using RVC-CAL followed by automatic translation into HDL, which is achievable by the tools that support the standard, results in more efficient HW implementation compared to the traditional HW design flow. A discussion that explains the reasons behind such results concludes the paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6
Fig. 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12
Figure 13
Figure 14


  1. 1.

    Jang, E. S., Ohm, J., Mattavelli, M. (January 2008). Whitepaper on Reconfigurable Video Coding (RVC). ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11 document N9586.

  2. 2.

    Lucarz, C., Mattavelli, M., Thomas-Kerr, J., Janneck, J. (2007). Reconfigurable media coding: A new specification model for multimedia coders. Workshop on Signal Processing Systems.

  3. 3.

    Aman-Allah, H., Hanna, E., Maarouf, K., Amer, I. (2009). Towards a comprehensive RVC VTL: A CAL description of an efficient avc baseline encoder. IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2009).

  4. 4.

    Mattavelli, M. (2008). Reconfigurable Video Coding (RVC) a new specification and implementation paradigm for MPEG codecs. The 12th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Consumer Electronics. [Keynote Presentation].

  5. 5.

    Richardson, I. E. G. (2003). H. 264 and MPEG-4 video compression. Aberdeen: Wiley.

  6. 6.

    Yang, W. (2003). An efficient motion estimation method for MPEG-4 video encoder. IEEE Transactions on Consumer Electronics, 49(2), 441–446.

  7. 7.

    Huang, Y., Hsieh, B., Tung-Chien, C., & Chen, L. (2005). Analysis, fast algorithm, and VLSI architecture design for H. 264/AVC intra frame coder. IEE Transactions on Circuits and systems for Video Technology, 15(3), 378–401.

  8. 8.

    Silva, T., Vortmann, J., Agostini, L., Bampi, S., Susin, A. (2007). FPGA based design of CAVLC and exp-golomb coders for H.264/AVC baseline entropy coding. 3rd Southern Conference on Programmable Logic (SPL07).

  9. 9.

    International Telecommunication Union. (2005). Draft ITU-T recommendation and final draft international standard of joint video specification (ITU-T Recommendation H.264 (03/05); Advanced Video Coding for Generic Audiovisual Services).

  10. 10.

    Lucarz, C., Mattavelli, M., Wipliez, M., Roquier, G., Raulet, M., Janneck, J., et al. (2008). Dataflow/Actor-oriented language for the design of complex signal processing systems. Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing (DASIP 2008).

  11. 11.

    Joint Video Team (JVT) reference software, version 14.2. [Online] http://iphome.hhi.de/suehring/tml/download/old_jm/jm14.2.zip.

  12. 12.

    Amer, I., Badawy, W., Jullien, G. (2004). Towards MPEG-4 part 10 system on chip: A VLSI prototype for context based adaptive variable length coding (CAVLC). IEEE Workshop on Signal Processing Systems, pp. 275–279.

  13. 13.

    Yi, Y., Cheol Song, B. (2008) A novel CAVLC architecture for H.264 video encoding at high bit-rate. IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS 2008).

  14. 14.

    Chien, C., Lu, K., Shih, Y., Guo, J. (2006). A high performance CAVLC encoder design for MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video coding applications. IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, pp. 3838–3841. (ISCAS 2006).

  15. 15.

    Sahin, E., Hamzaoglu, I. (2005). A high performance and low power hardware architecture for H.264 CAVLC algorithm. 13th European Signal Processing Conference. (EUSIPCO 2005).

  16. 16.

    Janneck, J., Miller, I. D., Parlour, D. B., Roquier, G., Wipliez, M., Raulet, M. (2008). Synthesizing hardware from dataflow programs: An MPEG-4 simple profile decoder case study. IEEE Workshop on Signal Processing Systems (SiPS 2008).

  17. 17.

    Bhattacharyya, S., Brebner, G., Janneck, J., Eker, J., von Platen, C., Mattavelli, M., et al. (2008). OpenDF—A dataflow toolset for reconfigurable hardware and multicore systems. First Swedish Workshop on Multi-Core Computing.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Karim Maarouf.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Aman-Allah, H., Maarouf, K., Hanna, E. et al. CAL Dataflow Components for an MPEG RVC AVC Baseline Encoder. J Sign Process Syst 63, 227–239 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11265-009-0396-6

Download citation


  • Reconfigurable video coding
  • MPEG video tool library
  • CAL actor language
  • H.264/AVC baseline profile