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Winter 2003
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Special Report:
What's Next for ECEs?
April 2003
More information: VTVT (Virginia Tech VLSI for Tele-communications) website.

Low-Power Coding for Videoconferencing

Bradley Fellow Nathaniel August demonstrates a software wireless videoconferencing prototype developed by the VTVT (Virginia Tech VLSI for Telecommunications) Laboratory, directed by Dong Ha. The VTVT Laboratory designs analog and digital hardware for next generation communications devices. The monitor displays a live video image that the software prototype wirelessly transmits to a receiver. The system emulates the conditions encountered in wireless protocols such as those used for cell phones.

One aspect of August’s research involves developing low-power algorithms for video coding. “Low power dissipation is critical in portable devices because of their limited battery life,” August said. “In designing a low-power video transmission system, the major challenge is to maintain good video quality while significantly reducing power. The prototype system provides objective and subjective performance measurements of our low-power algorithms before we devote significant time and effort to a hardware implementation.”

If an algorithm proves successful, the team implements it in hardware. The algorithm demonstrated in the picture reduces power dissipation by more than 95 percent without degrading video quality. Some applications for the low power video system include video cell phones, wireless video conferencing, portable surveillance cameras, and mobile patrol units.

 
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Last updated: Thu, Jun 26, 2003