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Advanced Multimedia Parallel Accelerator

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The project concerns hardware support targeted to specific requirements in multimedia workstations and networks. It is important that a consistent approach within a framework exists so as not to dissipate effort in a number of specialized hardware implementations. An attempt is made to define a comprehensive overall framework with a whole range of profiles and levels as already defined, so as to standardize a number of state of art image coding and multiplexing techniques. As such standards are accepted for new television (TV) broadcasting services and as the basis for multimedia services via telecommunication networks, it becomes important that architectural support is developed to implement these. The requirements of high quality and low costs can be met by add-on specialized hardware to the mass produced multimedia workstations to provide the standard interfaces required by TV cameras, monitors, etc., to handle TV quality video sequences in real-time, and to include enough scaleable processing power through parallelism for numerically intensive algorithms. The underlying requirement for on-line 'live' working is the ability to handle all the operations in real-time and for post-processing in minutes or hours rather than days and weeks The detailed specification for an advanced multimedia parallel accelerator (AMPA) has been completed. This platform provides a high performance architecture designed for processing real time video and data streams and combinations of these for advanced multimedia applications. AMPA can be implemented at multiple levels, allowing a range of costs and performances to be based on common software and scaleable hardware architecture. The specification includes a description of the range of AMPA architecture configurations, the component technologies, an evaluation of interconnection networks, and systems software aspects. A survey is being carried out of the novel architectures for object-oriented multimedia to place AMPA within a wider context.

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