Reconfigurable Video Coding on Multicore: The Video Coding Standard for Multi-Core Platforms
The current monolythic and lengthy scheme behind the standardization and the design of new video coding standards is becoming inappropriate to satisfy the dynamism and changing needs of the video coding community. Such scheme and specification formal- ism does not allow the clear commonalities between the different codecs to be shown, at the level of the specification nor at the level of the implementation. Such a problem is one of the main reasons for the typically long interval elaps- ing between the time a new idea is validated until it is implemented in consumer products as part of a worldwide standard. The analysis of this problem originated a new standard initiative within the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/ International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) committee, name- ly Reconfigurable Video Coding (RVC). The main idea is to develop a video coding standard that overcomes many short- comings of the current standardization and specification process by updating and progressively incrementing a modular library of components. As the name implies, flexibility and reconfigurability are new attractive features of the RVC standard. Besides allowing for the definition of new codec algorithms, such features, as well as the dataflow-based specification formalism, open the way to define video coding standards that expressly target implementations on platforms with multiple cores. This article provides an overview of the main objectives of the new RVC standard, with an emphasis on the features that enable efficient implementation on platforms with multiple cores. A brief introduction to the methodologies that efficiently map RVC codec specifications to multicore platforms is accompanied with an example of the possible breakthroughs that are expected to occur in the design and deployment of multimedia services on multicore platforms.