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The JPEG2000 standard defines the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) as a linear space-to frequency transform of the image domain in an irreversible compression. This irreversible discrete wavelet transform is implemented by an FIR filter using 9/7 Daubechies coefficients or a lifting scheme of factorized coefficients from 9/7 Daubechies coefficients. The paper investigates the tradeoffs between area, power and data throughput (or operating frequency) of several implementations of the discrete wavelet transform using the lifting scheme in various pipeline designs. The paper shows the results of five different architectures synthesized and simulated in FPGAs. It concludes that the descriptions with pipelined operators provide the best area-power-operating frequency trade-off over non-pipelined operator descriptions. Those descriptions require around 40% more hardware to increase the maximum operating frequency up to 100% and reduce power consumption to less than 50%. Starting from behavioral HDL descriptions provides the best area-power-operating frequency trade-off, improving hardware cost and maximum operating frequency by around 30% in comparison to structural descriptions for the same power requirement.