By Craig Gleason , Synfora, Inc. May 09, 2008 -- videsignline.com
System on Chip design is driven by complex consumer devices that rely on standard algorithms such as H.264, WiMax, or JPEG for their defining capabilities. These reference standards allow room for innovative implementation that result in differentiated products.
Designing these SoCs is an enormous undertaking, with significant cost and risk associated with each project. One way to reduce both project cost and schedule risk is to use Application Engine Synthesis (AES) for the automatic creation of an application engine such as an H.264 encoder from a sequential, untimed C algorithm.
The goal of the project described in this article was to emulate a typical design process for an H.264 encoder and to determine AES's ability to generate efficient hardware designs for real-life, high-complexity applications, while also demonstrating significant savings in terms of time and cost (of resources). We set the target of building an H.264 encoder for D1 size video that would meet real-time requirements (30 frames per second) on the most stringent test sequences, and aimed to complete the project in less than 5 months.
This article describes the process used, targets met, and productivity gains achieved.
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