Insatiable demand for high definition video and rapidly proliferating video production and distribution methods are driving the need for advanced video encoding and compression schemes. Several international standards and forums have been established in recent years to meet this demand. The MPEG-4 Part10/H.264 encoding standard was devised to support a wide range of professional video applications, including broadcast head-end, IPTV, multi-stream encoding and decoding, and image processing. The standard provides for a higher level and wider range of compression and quality for compressed video as compared to previous MPEG standards, in turn demanding increased processing performance and flexibility from the embedded processors in professional video equipment.

This paper explains why the field programmable object array (FPOA)—a device that is fully programmable at the object level and operates at speeds up to 1 GHz—is especially well suited to meet the requirements of High Definition H.264 encoding applications. An example implementation on a MathStar Arrix FPOA platform is described.