H264-E-BPS: Low-Power AVC/H.264 Baseline Profile Encoder

Block Diagram

Solution Type: IP Core

End Market: Automotive, Broadcast, Industrial, Medical, Military, Test & Measurement

Evaluation Method: OpenCore

Technology: DSP: Video and Image Processing

Arria Series: Intel® Arria® 10, Arria® V, Intel® Arria® 10 SoC, Arria® V SoC

Cyclone Series: Cyclone® IV, Cyclone® V, Cyclone® V SoC

MAX Series: Intel® MAX® 10

Stratix Series: Stratix® IV, Stratix® V


This is a video encoder supporting the Constrained Baseline Profile of the H.264 standard It Implements an energy-efficient hardware architecture that is optimized for ultra-low-latency video streaming at low bit rates. The H264-E-BPS requires less than half the silicon area of most competing encoder cores under 9k ALMs allowing for cost-effective FPGA implementations. Its small silicon footprint, low memory bandwidth, and zero software overhead enable H.264 coding at an extremely low energy cost. The core is able to process Full-HD video on most Intel® FPGAs.Despite being small, the core produces high quality video, even at low bit-rates, and features extremely low latency. It uses a constant Qp to output VBR streams, or automatically regulates Qp to output CBR streams. In CBR mode it responds rapidly to video content changes. This can be combined with Intra-Refresh coding to effectively eliminate bit-rate peaks, while preserving the periodic intra-coded references.


  • Small and Low Power: Under 9K ALMs, fits even in Intel® Max®10 devices. Even smaller Intra-Only version with just 5k ALMs
  • Low Latency and Low Bit Rates with Fewer Artifacts: Supports CBR, Intra-refresh and coding tools that improve quality at low bit-rates
  • Constrained Baseline Profile & Interlaced Video using Main Profile syntax
  • Ease of Integration: Autonomous operation - Optional AXI, or AHB wrappers, and bridge for glueless connection to Intel® FPGA's memory controllers

Device Utilization and Performance

The core can be mapped to any Intel FPGA Family (provided sufficient silicon resources are available) and optimized to suit the particular project's requirements. Under its default configuration (H264-E-BPS) the core synthesizes to 8.6k ALMs, 114k Memory bits, and 9 DSP blocks. It can process 1080p30 on most FPGA devices, and upto 720p25 on Max10. The Intra-only version (H264-E-BIS) synthesizes to 5K ALMs, 58k Memory bits, and 4 DSP blocks.Higher throughputs are feasible by the H264-E-BPF core, also available from CAST.

Getting Started

Contact CAST at info@cast-inc.com to arrange for a core evaluation

IP Quality Metrics

Year IP was first released2012
Latest version of Quartus supported15.1
Altera Customer Use
IP has been successfully implemented in production with at least one customerY

Customer deliverables include the following:

  • Design file (encrypted source code or post-synthesis netlist)
  • Simulation model for ModelSim Altera edition
  • Timing and/or layout constraints
  • Testbench or design example
  • Documentation with revision control
  • Readme file
Any additional customer deliverables provided with IP
Software Bit-Accurate Model
Parameterization GUI allowing end user to configure IPN
IP core is enabled for OpenCore Plus SupportY
Source language
Verilog; VHDL
Testbench languageVerilog; VHDL
Software drivers providedN
Driver OS supportN/A
User InterfaceAXI; Other: Simple native interface
IP-XACT Metadata includedN
Simulators supportedModelsim, Questa, NCSIM
Hardware validated Y. Altera Board Name DK-DEV-4SGX230N & DK-START-5AGXB3N
Industry standard compliance testing performed
If No, is it planned?N
IP has undergone interoperability testing
Interoperability reports available  N

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