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The SPIHT algorithm does not use tables in its coding strategy and it consists of easy to modify features. Therefore, it is competent to be used to design an on-board image and video still frame codec reconfigurable architecture than such designs aiming at complex JPEG 2000 codec. However, there still exists the high hardware memory consumption drawback due to its inherent wavelet transform phase. Therefore, the primary theme of this research paper is to make the SPIHT coding algorithm memory efficient by incorporating an extended version of DCT technology from JPEG and using the sustaining conversion function. Moreover, the related parallel processing hardware architecture is forwarded with a higher consideration to the SPIHT encoder. The simulation results of the total memory consumption (in megabytes) with an analogous onboard machine-vision encoder for the adaptation of the proposed memory efficient SPIHT (ME-SPIHT) codec are 13.2% and 14.14% (percent) lower than that of the adaptation of the tiling, wavelet transform based JPEG 2000 codec at 0.01 bpp (irreversible) and at 1.0 bpp (approximately reversible) bit rates, respectively.