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Face detection is the first step towards face recognition and is a vital task in surveillance and security applications. Current software implementations of face detection algorithms lack the computational ability to support detection in real time video streams. Consequently, this work focuses on the design of special-purpose hardware for performing rotation invariant face detection. The synthesized design using 160 nm technology is found to operate at 409.5 kHz providing a throughput of 424 frames per second and consumes 7 Watts of power. The synthesized design provided 75% accuracy in detecting faces from a set of 55 images that is competitive with existing software implementations that provide around 80-85% accuracy.