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VLSI Digital Signal Processing Systems: Design and Implementation by Keshab K. Parhi

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18.5    PROCESSORS FOR MULTIMEDIA SIGNAL PROCESSING

Multimedia signal processing involves processing of digital information in various representations. It covers a broad range of applications including audic and speech processing, image and video processing, two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) graphics, etc. Multimedia signal processing applications generally have very high data rate and demand real-time processing capabilities. Their important characteristics, from an algorithmic perspective, can be summarized as [8]:

  • Frequent use of small integer operands;
  • Highly regular computation-intensive operations;
  • Intensive input/output (I/O) or memory access, data reusability, and data locality;
  • Complex control operations in less computationally intensive tasks.

Conventional microprocessors and DSP processors do not support these characteristics of multimedia signal processing. Therefore, special architectural approaches are used to achieve the required high processing power with efficient utilization of hardware resources. To this end, one special class of media processors has been created to handle multimedia applications with high quality in real time. They can be used as stand-alone CPUs or as multimedia accelerators in PCs. Meanwhile, general purpose microprocessors have been extended using new instructions and resources by multimedia extensions to improve the performance of media processing programs.

Several general approaches to accelerate multimedia signal processing ...

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