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In multimedia applications where images are extremely used, the rate control method has a significant role in image encoder performance, computational complexity and hardware implementation. We propose a simple rate control algorithm suitable for the hardware implementation of a JPEG2000 encoder with less computational complexity and area. The proposed algorithm, which is based on exponential modeling of R-D curves, employs distortion instead of slope values. Simulation results show similar performance compared to the full search method, with considerable reduction in hardware resources.