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Embedded compression is commonly employed in a video codec to reduce the data traffic to/from off-chip frame memory. We proposed a method for maintaining the memory bandwidth requirement at a significantly reduced level through dynamic search range adjustment for the motion estimation based on the observed relationship between the compression ratio and the motion vector. This, together with the so-called “center moving” to adjust the newly incoming macroblocks, helped significantly lower the requirement of the memory bandwidth without a fluctuation. Experimental results have shown that the memory bandwidth requirement can be finally stabilized to 20% of that of the full search. The image quality degradation was merely 0.02 dB.