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Run-time interoperability between different applications based on H.264/AVC is an emerging need in networked infotainment, where media delivery must match the desired resolution and quality of the end terminals. In this paper, we describe the architecture and design of a polymorphic ASIC to support this. The H.264 decoding flow is partitioned into modules, such that the polymorphic ASIC meets the design goals of low-power, low-area, high flexibility, high throughput and fast interoperability between different profiles and levels of H.264. We demonstrate the idea with a multi-mode decoder that can decode baseline, main and high profile H.264 streams and can interoperate at run.time across these profiles. The decoder is capable of processing frame sizes of up to 1024 times 768 at 30 fps. The design synthesized with UMC 0.13 mum technology, occupies 250 k gates and runs at 100 MHz.