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In this paper, a multiple-symbol parallel variable length decoding (VLD) scheme is introduced. The scheme is capable of decoding all the codewords in an N-bit block of encoded input data stream. The proposed method partially breaks the recursive dependency related to the VLD. First, all possible codewords in the block are detected in parallel and lengths are returned. The procedure results redundant number of codeword lengths from which incorrect values are removed by recursive selection. Next, the index for each symbol corresponding the detected codeword is generated from the length determining the page and the partial codeword defining the offset in symbol table. The symbol lookup can be performed independently from symbol table. Finally, the sum of the valid codeword lengths is provided to an external shifter aligning the encoded input stream for a new decoding cycle. In order to prove feasibility and determine the limiting factors of our proposal, the variable length decoder has been implemented on an field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) technology. When applied to MPEG-2 standard benchmark scenes, on average 4.8 codewords are decoded per cycle resulting in the throughput of 106 million symbols per second.