Energy and Rate-Aware Design for HEVC Motion Estimation Based on Pareto Efficiency


  • Murilo Roschildt Perleberg Federal University of Pelotas - UFPel
  • Vladimir Afonso Federal University of Pelotas - UFPel
  • Ruhan Conceição Federal University of Pelotas - UFPel
  • Altamiro Susin Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS
  • Luciano Agostini Federal University of Pelotas – UFPel
  • Marcelo Porto Federal University of Pelotas – UFPel
  • Bruno Zatt Federal University of Pelotas – UFPel



Video Coding, Hardware Design, HEVC Standard, Motion Estimation, Pareto Efficiency


This paper presents a high-throughput energy and rate-aware hardware design for the Motion Estimation (ME) according to the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. The hardware design implements a modified Test Zone Search (TZS) algorithm to perform Integer Motion Estimation (IME) as well as the Fractional Motion Estimation (FME) defined by the HEVC standard. Based on evaluations with the HEVC Reference Software, a complexity-reduction strategy was adopted in the developed architecture that mainly consists of supporting only the 8x8, 16x16, 32x32, and 64x64 Prediction Unit (PU) sizes rather than using the 24 possible PU sizes. The architecture allows an external control unit selects a subset of these four PU sizes according to the energy and rate targets for a specific application. The possible operation points were determined based on Pareto Efficiency. The architecture was described in VHDL, and the synthesis results for ASIC 45nm Nangate standard cells show that the developed architecture can process at least 53 frames per second (fps) considering Ultra-High Definition (UHD) 4320p videos. When an average-case of processing is considered, the architecture is able to process 112fps at UHD 4320p resolution.