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Most modern computers or game consoles are equipped with powerful yet cost-effective graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate graphics operations. Though the graphics engines in these GPUs are specially designed for graphics operations, can we harness their computing power for more general nongraphics operations? The answer is positive. In this paper, we present our study on leveraging the GPUs graphics engine to accelerate the video decoding. Specifically, a video decoding framework that involves both the central processing unit (CPU) and the GPU is proposed. By moving the whole motion compensation feedback loop of the decoder to the GPU, the CPU and GPU have been made to work in parallel in a pipelining fashion. Several techniques are also proposed to overcome the GPUs constraints or to optimize the GPU computation. Initial experimental results show that significant speed-up can be achieved by utilizing the GPU power. We have achieved real-time playback of high definition video on a PC with an Intel Pentium III 667-MHz CPU and an nVidia GeForce3 GPU.
Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:15 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: May 2005