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Elecard Algorithms & Technology

The strength of Elecard’s technology lies in its innovative encoding algorithms, clearly distinguishing it from its competitors. Elecard supplies MPEG-2, H.264, and other CODECs for PC and DSPs (low cost, low power consumption). Elecard’s CODECs provide the encoding quality of cutting edge broadcast encoding systems and show better performance results as compared to other leading MPEG-2 PC based, fixed function chips and DSP based encoders. Elecard is also one of the first H.264 CODEC suppliers in the industry, with a leading performance H.264 Encoder.

H.264 Algorithms

The newly instituted H.264 standard facilitates compression of the highest quality while maintaining extremely low bit rates. The main advantages lie in its advanced features: better motion compensation (through the manipulation of blocks of varying size and shape, more accurate motion vectors and more reference pictures), enhanced intra prediction, and better transform. Elecard is in the final stages of fine-tuning new algorithms, based on the superior algorithms implemented for its MPEG-2 CODEC. Presently, Elecard can supply the highest quality H.264 encoding solutions running on widely used CPUs and DSPs (e.g. real-time H.264 CIF SD encoding on a PC or on low cost DSPs).

Advanced Motion Estimation Algorithm

To address the difficulties of commonly used motion estimation methods, Elecard’s researchers chose to adopt a completely new and innovative concept. Using new technique motion vectors track real motion and provide great visual experience, thus providing highest performance encoding. The method resulted in a significant reduction in computational consumption and a substantial improvement in the overall fit of the differently sized blocks as well. The advanced motion estimation algorithm is crucial to Elecard’s ability to develop high quality encoders that run on PC and low power DSPs.

Superior Rate Control Algorithm

Elecard has devised and implemented a compression procedure and an efficient quantization method resulting in better bit usage according to the required bit-rate. Elecard’s rate control mechanism provides on-the-fly bit allocation as a function of content. This method enables a differential quantization of blocks, in a single pass. These algorithms were developed using a pseudo-visual metric. The results show improved rate control performance, especially at low bit rates.

Effective Shot Detection (Scene Change Detection)

Elecard’s very efficient and accurate scene change and transition detection algorithm results in high quality after 'shock' through efficient use of the bits budget. The accurate insertion of I-frames (shot detection) and P-frames (transitions and fast motion scenes) is required for low bit rate encoding and allows easier editing. This efficiency enables scene type detection implementation on low cost DSPs.

Deinterlace (Interlace to Progressive conversion) Algorithms

To address the gap between broadcast standards designed for Interlace TVs and today’s progressive screens (Plasma, LCD and 100MHz screens), Elecard has developed a high quality, highly efficient algorithm that converts 25/30 fps interlace material to 50/60 fps progressive material.

Efficient Implementation

The basis of Elecard’s technology is advanced algorithms and efficient implementation through the massive use of dedicated processor accelerators and DSP parallelism via Assembly Code). Elecard can port its CODECs to any VLIW DSP and to a variety of other processors. All ported solutions utilize Elecard’s enhanced algorithms, and the specific machine accelerators.