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A methodology to evaluate memory architecture design tradeoffs for video signal processors

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3 Author(s)
Dutta, S. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., NJ, USA ; Wolf, W. ; Wolfe, A.

Develops a methodology for the design of the memory and the memory-processor communication network in video signal processors. The memory subsystem is the bottleneck of most video computing systems and its design requires evaluating tradeoffs between area, cycle time, and utilization. We emphasize the need to consider technological and circuit-level issues during the design of a system architecture, particularly video signal processing (VSP) systems, and present a systematic method whereby the organization of the memory architecture can be analyzed and its cycle-time approximated before a detailed design is undertaken. We show how variations in sizes and circuit configurations help determine the variations in delay of both memory and network, and how the delay curves, thus determined, can be used to design, compare, and choose from different memory-system architectures; we also describe a technique that can be used to identify the on-chip-off-chip boundary with respect to a hierarchical memory-system design for a memory-intensive VSP module. All of our results are validated via layout and simulation of prototype circuits in two different process technologies. Motion estimation and discrete cosine transform (DCT) being two of the most important tasks in video processing, we use the design of a motion estimator and that of a DCT unit as examples to illustrate the high-level issues in designing the memory architecture for a VSP module. The analysis presented for the motion estimator and the DCT unit can also be applied to other processing blocks belonging to the system

Published in:

Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Feb 1998

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