VOP memory management in MPEG-4

K. Vaithianathan, Sethuraman Panchanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


MPEG-4 is a multimedia standard that requires Video Object Planes (VOPs). Generation of VOPs for any kind of video sequence is still a challenging problem that largely remains unsolved. Nevertheless, if this problem is treated by imposing certain constraints, solutions for specific application domains can be found. MPEG-4 applications in mobile devices is one such domain where the opposite goals namely low power and high throughput are required to be met. Efficient memory management plays a major role in reducing the power consumption. Specifically, efficient memory management for VOPs is difficult because the lifetimes of these objects vary and these life times may be overlapping. Varying life times of the objects requires dynamic memory management where memory fragmentation is a key problem that needs to be addressed. In general, memory management systems address this problem by following a combination of strategy, policy and mechanism. For MPEG4 based mobile devices that lack instruction processors, a hardware based memory management solution is necessary. In MPEG4 based mobile devices that have a RISC processor, using a Real time operating system (RTOS) for this memory management task is not expected to be efficient because the strategies and policies used by the RTOS is often tuned for handling memory segments of smaller sizes compared to object sizes. Hence, a memory management scheme specifically tuned for VOPs is important. In this paper, different strategies, policies and mechanisms for memory management are considered and an efficient combination is proposed for the case of VOP memory management along with a hardware architecture, which can handle the proposed combination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
EventMedia Processors 2001 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2001Jan 23 2001


  • Architecture
  • MPEG-4
  • MPEG4
  • Object segmentation
  • Object tracking
  • VOP
  • Virtual memory management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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