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In this paper, an efficient very large scale integration (VLSI) architecture, called flipping structure, is proposed for the lifting-based discrete wavelet transform. It can provide a variety of hardware implementations to improve and possibly minimize the critical path as well as the memory requirement of the lifting-based discrete wavelet transform by flipping conventional lifting structures. The precision issues are also analyzed. By case studies of the JPEG2000 default lossy (9,7) filter, an integer (9,7) filter, and the (6,10) filter, the efficiency of the proposed flipping structure is demonstrated.