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In this paper, a new and fast encoding algorithm for vector quantization is presented. This algorithm makes full use of two characteristics of a vector: the sum and the variance. A vector is separated into two subvectors: one is composed of the first half of vector components and the other consists of the remaining vector components. Three inequalities based on the sums and variances of a vector and its two subvectors components are introduced to reject those codewords that are impossible to be the nearest codeword, thereby saving a great deal of computational time, while introducing no extra distortion compared to the conventional full search algorithm. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is faster than the equal-average nearest neighbor search (ENNS), the improved ENNS, the equal-average equal-variance nearest neighbor search (EENNS) and the improved EENNS algorithms. Comparing with the improved EENNS algorithm, the proposed algorithm reduces the computational time and the number of distortion calculations by 2.4% to 6% and 20.5% to 26.8%, respectively. The average improvements of the computational time and the number of distortion calculations are 4% and 24.6% for the codebook sizes of 128 to 1024, respectively.