The design and implementation of a video compression development board

Alalait, Suliman (2011-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.


This thesis describes the design and implementation of a video compression development board as a standalone embedded system. The board can capture images, encode them and stream out a video to a destination over a wireless link. This project was done to allow users to test and develop video compression encoders that are designed for UAV applications. The board was designed to use an ADSP-BF533 Blackfin DSP from Analog Devices with the purpose of encoding images, which were captured by a camera module and then streamed out a video through a WiFi module. Moreover, an FPGA that has an interface to a logic analyzer, the DSP, the camera and the WiFi module, was added to accommodate other future uses, and to allow for the debugging of the board. The board was tested by loading a H.264 BP/MP encoder from Analog Devices to the DSP, where the DSP was integrated with the camera and the WiFi module. The test was successful and the board was able to encode a 2 MegaPixel picture at about 2 frames per second with a data rate of 186 Kbps. However, as the frame rate was only 2 frames per second, the video was somewhat jerky. It was found that the encoding time is a system limitation and that it has to be improved in order to increase the frame rate. A proposed solution involves dividing the captured picture into smaller segments and encoding each segment in parallel. Thereafter, the segments can be packed and streamed out. Further performance issues about the proposed structure are presented in the thesis.

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