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Design of an efficient modular architecture for detection of multiple faces in video stream is presented in this paper. Face detection is the first step in many surveillance and security applications such as face recognition, face authentication for banking and security access control, monitoring and tracking, etc. The algorithm used for this hardware design is the Viola-Jones algorithm, which has proven to be very effective and fast. The hardware design employs a modular approach in an efficient memory management strategy for this memory-intensive application. The proposed design is targeted for a low-cost FPGA prototype board from Altera (DE2 board) for a cost-effective face detection system. The proposed approach utilizes the on-chip memory module to reduce accesses to external memory chip for improved performance in the application.