A Hardware Architecture of a Counter-Based Entropy Coder
This paper describes a hardware architectural design of a real-time counter based entropy coder at a register transfer level (RTL) computing model. The architecture is based on a lossless compression algorithm called Rice coding, which is optimal for an entropy range of bits per sample. The architecture incorporates a word-splitting scheme to extend the entropy coverage into a range of bits per sample. We have designed a data structure in a form of independent code blocks, allowing more robust compressed bitstream. The design focuses on an RTL computing model and architecture, utilizing 8-bit buffers, adders, registers, loader-shifters, select-logics, down-counters, up-counters, and multiplexers. We have validated the architecture (both the encoder and the decoder) in a coprocessor for 8 bits/sample data on an FPGA Xilinx XC4005, utilizing 61% of F&G-CLBs, 34% H-CLBs, 32% FF-CLBs, and 68% IO resources. On this FPGA implementation, the encoder and decoder can achieve 1.74 Mbits/s and 2.91 Mbits/s throughputs, respectively. The architecture allows pipelining, resulting in potentially maximum encoding throughput of 200 Mbit/s on typical real-time TTL implementations. In addition, it uses a minimum number of register elements. As a result, this architecture can result in low cost, low energy consumption and reduced silicon area realizations.
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