(19)
(11)EP 3 764 652 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
13.01.2021 Bulletin 2021/02

(21)Application number: 20194889.0

(22)Date of filing:  25.03.2009
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04N 19/91(2014.01)
H04N 19/70(2014.01)
H04N 19/436(2014.01)
H04N 19/463(2014.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 28.03.2008 US 58301

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
16167565.7 / 3086557
09725979.0 / 2266319

(71)Applicant: Dolby International AB
1101 CN Amsterdam Zuidoost (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • ZHAO, Jie
    Camas, WA Washington 98607 (US)
  • SEGALL, Christopher A.
    Camas, WA Washington 98607 (US)
  • KEROFSKY, Louis J.
    Camas, Washington 98607 (US)

(74)Representative: Peterreins Schley 
Patent- und Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB Hermann-Sack-Strasse 3
80331 München
80331 München (DE)

 
Remarks:
This application was filed on 07-09-2020 as a divisional application to the application mentioned under INID code 62.
 


(54)DEVICE FOR PARALLEL VIDEO DECODING


(57) A method for decoding a video bitstream is disclosed. The method comprises: entropy decoding a first portion(112-1) of a video bitstream(52), wherein first portion(112-1) of video bitstream is associated with a video frame(110), thereby producing a first portion(112-1) of decoded data; entropy decoding a second portion(112-2) of video bitstream(52), wherein second portion(112-2) of video bitstream(52) is associated with video frame(110), thereby producing a second portion(112-2) of decoded data, wherein entropy decoding second portion(112-2) of video bitstream(52) is independent of entropy decoding first portion(112-1) of video bitstream(52); and reconstructing a first portion(112-1) of video frame(110) associated with video bitstream(52) using first portion(112-1) of decoded data and second portion(112-2) of decoded data.




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] Embodiments of the present invention relate generally to video coding.

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] State-of-the-art video-coding methods and standards, for example H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (H.264/AVC), may provide higher coding efficiency than older methods and standards at the expense of higher complexity. Increasing quality requirements and resolution requirements on video coding methods and standards may also increase their complexity. Decoders that support parallel decoding may improve decoding speeds and reduce memory requirements. Additionally, advances in multi-core processors may make encoders and decoders that support parallel decoding desirable.

[0003] H.264/MPEG-4 AVC [Joint Video Team of ITU-T VCEG and ISO/IEC MPEG, "H.264: Advanced video coding for generic audiovisual services," ITU-T Rec. H.264 and ISO/IEC 14496-10 (MPEG4 - Part 10), November 2007], which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety, is a video codec specification that uses macroblock prediction followed by residual coding to reduce temporal and spatial redundancy in a video sequence for compression efficiency.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION



[0004] Some embodiments of the present invention comprise methods, devices and systems for parallel entropy encoding and decoding of a video bitstream based on partitioning of data into entropy slices that may be entropy encoded and decoded independently.

[0005] According to one aspect of the present application, a method for decoding a video bitstream is provided. The method comprises: entropy decoding a first portion of a video bitstream, wherein first portion of video bitstream is associated with a video frame, thereby producing a first portion of decoded data; entropy decoding a second portion of video bitstream, wherein second portion of video bitstream is associated with video frame, thereby producing a second portion of decoded data, wherein entropy decoding second portion of video bitstream is independent of entropy decoding first portion of video bitstream; and reconstructing a first portion of video frame associated with video bitstream using first portion of decoded data and second portion of decoded data.

[0006] According to another aspect of the present application, a method for decoding a video frame in a video sequence is provided. The method comprises receiving a bitstream; identifying a reconstruction slice in bitstream; identifying a plurality of entropy slices associated with reconstruction slice in bitstream; entropy decoding each of plurality of entropy slices associated with reconstruction slice, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices; and reconstructing a portion of a video frame associated with reconstruction slice using plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices.

[0007] According to another aspect of the present application, a method for encoding a video frame in a video sequence is provided. The method comprises: partitioning a first frame in a video sequence into at least one reconstruction slice, thereby producing a first reconstruction slice; and partitioning first reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices.

[0008] According to another aspect of the present application, a method for generating a video bitstream for parallel decoding is disclosed. The method comprises: receiving a first video bitstream; identifying a reconstruction slice in video bitstream; entropy decoding a plurality of symbols from reconstruction slice, thereby producing entropy-decoded data associated with reconstruction slice; partitioning entropy-decoded data associated with reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices associated with reconstruction slice; independently entropy encoding the entropy-decoded data of each entropy slice of plurality of entropy slices, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices; and generating a second video bitstream comprising plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices.

[0009] In some embodiments of the present invention, a first portion and second portion of an input compressed-video bitstream may be entropy decoded independently. A block of samples of a video frame associated with the second portion of the input compressed-video bitstream may be reconstructed using decoded data from the first portion and the second portion. Thus, the reconstruction neighbor definition and the entropy decoding neighbor definition are not the same.

[0010] In some embodiments of the present invention, an encoder may partition input data into entropy slices. The encoder may entropy encode the entropy slices independently. The encoder may form a bitstream comprising entropy-slice headers each of which may indicate the location in the bitstream of the associated data for the entropy slice. In some embodiments of the present invention, a decoder may parse a received bitstream for entropy-slice headers, and the decoder may entropy decode a plurality of entropy slices according to a decoder-defined level of parallelism.

[0011] In some embodiments of the present invention, data may be multiplexed at a picture level to form entropy slices. In some embodiments, one, or more, entropy slices may correspond to prediction data, and one, or more, entropy slices may correspond to residual data. In alternative embodiments of the present invention, one, or more, entropy slices may correspond to each of a plurality of color planes.

[0012] In some embodiments of the present invention, a bitstream may be transcoded to comprise entropy slices. In these embodiments, a received bitstream may be entropy decoded, a plurality of entropy slices may be constructed, and each of the entropy slices may be independent encoded and written to a transcoded bitstream with an associated entropyslice header.

[0013] The foregoing and other objectives, features, and advantages of the invention will be more readily understood upon consideration of the following detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



[0014] 

Fig. 1 is a picture showing an H.264/AVC video encoder (prior art);

Fig. 2 is a picture showing an H.264/AVC video decoder (prior art);

Fig. 3 is a picture showing an exemplary slice structure (prior art);

Fig. 4 is a picture showing an exemplary slice group structure (prior art);

Fig. 5 is a picture showing an exemplary slice partition according to embodiments of the present invention, wherein a picture may be partitioned in at least one reconstruction slice and a reconstruction slice may be partitioned into more than one entropy slice;

Fig. 6 is chart showing an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprising an entropy slice;

Fig. 7 is a chart showing an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprising parallel entropy decoding of multiple entropy slices followed by slice reconstruction;

Fig. 8 is a chart showing an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprising prediction data / residual data multiplexing at the picture level for entropy slice construction;

Fig. 9 is a chart showing an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprising color-plane multiplexing at the picture level for entropy slice construction; and

Fig. 10 is a chart showing an exemplary embodiment of the present invention comprising transcoding a bitstream by entropy decoding, forming entropy slices and entropy encoding.


REFERENCE NUMERALS



[0015] 
2
H.264/AVC VIDEO ENCODER
32
ENTROPY ENCODING
54
ENTROPY DECODING
80
H.264/AVC VIDEO DECODER
110
VIDEO FRAME
111,112,113
RECONSTRUCTION SLICE
112-1,112-2,112-3
ENTROPY SLICE
115,116,117,118,119,120,121,122,123
MACROBLOCK

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



[0016] Embodiments of the present invention will be best understood by reference to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals throughout. The figures listed above are expressly incorporated as part of this detailed description.

[0017] It will be readily understood that the components of the present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, could be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the following more detailed description of the embodiments of the methods, devices and systems of the present invention is not intended to limit the scope of the invention but it is merely representative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention.

[0018] Elements of embodiments of the present invention may be embodied in hardware, firmware and/or software. While exemplary embodiments revealed herein may only describe one of these forms, it is to be understood that one skilled in the art would be able to effectuate these elements in any of these forms while resting within the scope of the present invention.

[0019] While any video coder/decoder (codec) that uses entropy encoding/decoding may be accommodated by embodiments of the present invention, exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be illustrated in relation to an H.264/AVC encoder and an H.264/AVC decoder. This is intended for illustration of embodiments of the present invention and not limitation.

[0020] State-of-the-art video-coding methods and standards, for example H.264/AVC, may provide higher coding efficiency than older methods and standards at the expense of higher complexity. Increasing quality requirements and resolution requirements on video coding methods and standards may also increase their complexity. Decoders that support parallel decoding may improve decoding speeds and reduce memory requirements. Additionally, advances in multi-core processors may make encoders and decoders that support parallel decoding desirable.

[0021] H.264/AVC, and many other video coding standards and methods, are based on a block-based hybrid video-coding approach, wherein the source-coding algorithm is a hybrid of inter-picture, also considered inter-frame, prediction, intra-picture, also considered intra-frame, prediction and transform coding of a prediction residual. Inter-frame prediction may exploit temporal redundancies, and intra-frame and transform coding of the prediction residual may exploit spatial redundancies.

[0022] Figure 1 shows a block diagram of an exemplary H.264/AVC video encoder 2. An input picture 4, also considered an input frame, may be presented for encoding. A predicted signal 6 and a residual signal 8 may be produced, wherein the predicted signal 6 may be based on either an inter-frame prediction 10 or an intra-frame prediction 12. The inter-frame prediction 10 may be determined by motion compensating 14 using a stored, reference picture 16, also considered reference frame, using motion information 19 determined by a motion estimation 18 process between the input frame(input picture) 4 and the reference frame(reference picture) 16. The intra-frame prediction 12 may be determined by intra-frame prediction 20 using a decoded signal 22. The residual signal 8 may be determined by subtracting the input frame 4 from the prediction (predicted signal) 6. The residual signal 8 is transformed, scaled and quantized 24, thereby producing quantized, transform coefficients 26. The decoded signal 22 may be generated by adding the predicted signal 6 to a signal 28 generated by inverse transforming, scaling and inverse quantizing 30 the quantized, transform coefficients 26. The motion information 19 and the quantized, transform coefficients 26 may be entropy coded 32 and written to the compressed-video bitstream 34. An output image region 38, for example a portion of the reference frame, may be generated at the encoder 2 by filtering 36 the reconstructed, pre-filtered signal (decoded signal) 22.

[0023] Figure 2 shows a block diagram of an exemplary H.264/AVC video decoder 50. An input signal 52, also considered a bitstream, may be presented for decoding. Received symbols may be entropy decoded 54, thereby producing motion information 56 and quantized, scaled, transform coefficients 58. The motion information 56 may be combined by motion compensation 60 with a portion of a reference frame 84 which may reside in frame memory 64, and an inter-frame prediction 68 may be generated. The quantized, scaled, transform coefficients 58 may be inversely quantized, inversely scaled and inversely transformed 62, thereby producing a decoded residual signal 70. The residual signal 70 may be added to a prediction signal 78: either the inter-frame prediction signal 68 or an intra-frame prediction signal 76, and become combined signal 72. The intra-frame prediction signal 76 may be predicted by intra-frame prediction 74 from previously decoded information(previously combined signal) 72 in the current frame. The combined signal 72 may be filtered by de-blocking filter 80 and the filtered signal 82 may be written to frame memory 64.

[0024] In H.264/AVC, an input picture is partitioned into fixed-size macroblocks, wherein each macroblock covers a rectangular picture area of 16x16 samples of the luma component and 8x8 samples of each of the two chroma components. The decoding process of the H.264/AVC standard is specified for processing units which are macroblocks. The entropy decoder 54 parses the syntax elements of the compressed-video bitstream 52 and demultiplexes them. H.264/AVC specifies two alternative methods of entropy decoding: a low-complexity technique that is based on the usage of context-adaptively switched sets of variable length codes, referred to as CAVLC, and a computationally more demanding algorithm of context-based adaptively binary arithmetic coding, referred to as CABAC. In both entropy decoding methods, decoding of a current symbol may rely on previously, correctly decoded symbols and adaptively updated context models. In addition, different data information, for example, prediction data information, residual data information and different color planes, may be multiplexed together. De-multiplexing may not be done until elements are entropy decoded.

[0025] After entropy decoding, a macroblock may be reconstructed by obtaining: the residual signal through inverse quantization and the inverse transform, and the prediction signal, either the intra-frame prediction signal or the inter-frame prediction signal. Blocking distortion may be reduced by applying a de-blocking filter to every decoded macroblock. No processing may begin until the input signal is entropy decoded, thereby making entropy decoding a potential bottleneck in decoding.

[0026] Similarly, in codecs in which alternative prediction mechanisms may be allowed, for example, inter-layer prediction in H.264/AVC or inter-layer prediction in other scalable codecs, entropy decoding may be requisite prior to all processing at the decoder, thereby making entropy decoding a potential bottleneck.

[0027] In H.264/AVC, an input picture comprising a plurality of macroblocks may be partitioned into one or several slices. The values of the samples in the area of the picture that a slice represents may be correctly decoded without the use of data from other slices provided that the reference pictures used at the encoder and the decoder are identical. Therefore, entropy decoding and macroblock reconstruction for a slice do not depend on other slices. In particular, the entropy coding state is reset at the start of each slice. The data in other slices are marked as unavailable when defining neighborhood availability for both entropy decoding and reconstruction. In H.264/AVC, slices may be entropy decoded and reconstructed in parallel. No intra prediction and motion-vector prediction are allowed across the slice boundary. De-blocking filtering may use information across slice boundaries.

[0028] Figure 3 shows an exemplary video picture 90 comprising eleven macroblocks in the horizontal direction and nine macroblocks in the vertical direction (nine exemplary macroblocks labeled 91-99). Figure 3 shows three exemplary slices: a first slice denoted "SLICE #0" 100, a second slice denoted "SLICE #1" 101 and a third slice denoted "SLICE #2" 102. An H.264/AVC decoder may decode and reconstruct the three slices 100, 101, 102 in parallel. At the beginning of the decoding/reconstruction process for each slice, context models are initialized or reset and macroblocks in other slices are marked as unavailable for both entropy decoding and macroblock reconstruction. Thus, for a macroblock, for example, the macroblock labeled 93, in "SLICE #1," macroblocks (for example, macroblocks labeled 91 and 92) in "SLICE #0" may not be used for context model selection or reconstruction. Whereas, for a macroblock, for example, the macroblock labeled 95, in "SLICE #1," other macroblocks (for example, macroblocks labeled 93 and 94) in "SLICE #1" may be used for context model selection or reconstruction. Therefore, entropy decoding and macroblock reconstruction must proceed serially within a slice. Unless slices are defined using flexible macroblock ordering (FMO), macroblocks within a slice are processed in the order of a raster scan.

[0029] Flexible macroblock ordering defines a slice group to modify how a picture is partitioned into slices. The macroblocks in a slice group are defined by a macroblock-to-slice-group map, which is signaled by the content of the picture parameter set and additional information in the slice headers. The macroblock-to-slice-group map consists of a slice-group identification number for each macroblock in the picture. The slice-group identification number specifies to which slice group the associated macroblock belongs. Each slice group may be partitioned into one or more slices, wherein a slice is a sequence of macroblocks within the same slice group that is processed in the order of a raster scan within the set of macroblocks of a particular slice group. Entropy decoding and macroblock reconstruction must proceed serially within a slice.

[0030] Figure 4 depicts an exemplary macroblock allocation into three slice groups: a first slice group denoted "SLICE GROUP #0" 103, a second slice group denoted "SLICE GROUP #1" 104 and a third slice group denoted "SLICE GROUP #2" 105. These slice groups 103, 104, 105 may be associated with two foreground regions and a background region, respectively, in the picture 90.

[0031] Some embodiments of the present invention may comprise partitioning a picture into one or more reconstruction slices, wherein a reconstruction slice may be self-contained in the respect that values of the samples in the area of the picture that the reconstruction slice represents may be correctly reconstructed without use of data from other reconstruction slices, provided that the references pictures used are identical at the encoder and the decoder. All reconstructed macroblocks within a reconstruction slice may be available in the neighborhood definition for reconstruction.

[0032] Some embodiments of the present invention may comprise partitioning a reconstruction slice into more than one entropy slice, wherein an entropy slice may be self-contained in the respect that symbol values in the area of the picture that the entropy slice represents may be correctly entropy decoded without the use of data from other entropy slices. In some embodiments of the present invention, the entropy coding state may be reset at the decoding start of each entropy slice. In some embodiments of the present invention, the data in other entropy slices may be marked as unavailable when defining neighborhood availability for entropy decoding. In some embodiments of the present invention, macroblocks in other entropy slices may not be used in a current block's context model selection. In some embodiments of the present invention, the context models may be updated only within an entropy slice. In these embodiments of the present invention, each entropy decoder associated with an entropy slice may maintain its own set of context models.

[0033] Some embodiments of the present invention may comprise CABAC encoding/ decoding. The CABAC encoding process includes the following steps:
Binarization: A non-binary-valued symbol (for example, a transform coefficient, a motion vector, or other coding data) is converted into a binary code, also referred to as a bin string.

[0034] Binarization is followed, for each bin, also considered bit, of the binarized symbol by:

Context Model Selection: A context model is a probability model for one or more bins of the binarized symbol. The context model comprises, for each bin, the probability of the bin being a "1" or a "0." The model may be chosen for a selection of available models depending on the statistics of recently coded data symbols, usually based on the left and above neighboring symbols, if available.

Binary Arithmetic Coding: An arithmetic coder encodes each bin according to the selected probability model and is based on recursive interval subdivision.

Probability Update: The selected context model is updated based on the actual coded value.



[0035] In some embodiments of the present invention comprising CABAC encoding/decoding, at the decoding start of an entropy slice, all of the context models may be initialized or reset to predefined models.

[0036] Some embodiments of the present invention may be understood in relation to Figure 5. Figure 5 shows an exemplary video frame 110 comprising eleven macroblocks in the horizontal direction and nine macroblocks in the vertical direction (nine exemplary macroblocks labeled 115-123). Figure 5 shows three exemplary reconstruction slices: a first reconstruction slice denoted "R_SLICE #0" 111, a second reconstruction slice denoted "R_SLICE #1" 112 and a third reconstruction slice denoted "R_SLICE #2" 113. Figure 5 further shows a partitioning of the second reconstruction slice "R_SLICE #1" 112 into three entropy slices: a first entropy slice denoted "E_SLICE #0" shown in cross-hatch 112-1, a second entropy slice denoted "E_SLICE #1" shown in vertical-hatch 112-2 and a third entropy slice denoted "E_SLICE #2" shown in angle-hatch 112-3. Each entropy slice 112-1, 112-2, 112-3 may be entropy decoded in parallel. Here, first entropy slice denoted "E_SLICE #0" and second entropy slice denoted "E_SLICE #1" may also be referred to as first portion and second portion of the bitstream.

[0037] In some embodiments of the present invention, only data from macroblocks within an entropy slice may be available for context model selection during entropy decoding of the entropy slice. All other macroblocks may be marked as unavailable. For this exemplary partitioning, macroblocks labeled 117 and 118 are unavailable for context model selection when decoding symbols corresponding to the area of macroblock labeled 119 because macroblocks labeled 117 and 118 are outside of the entropy slice containing macroblock 119. However, these macroblocks 117, 118 are available when macroblock 119 is reconstructed.

[0038] In some embodiments of the present invention, an encoder may determine whether or not to partition a reconstruction slice into entropy slices, and the encoder may signal the decision in the bitstream. In some embodiments of the present invention, the signal may comprise an entropy-slice flag(entropy-slice flag in first entropy slice may be referred to as first flag), which may be denoted "entropy_slice_flag" in some embodiments of the present invention.

[0039] Some decoder embodiments of the present invention may be described in relation to Figure 6. In these embodiments, an entropy-slice flag may be examined(S130), and if the entropy-slice flag indicates that there are no entropy slices associated with a picture, or a reconstruction slice(NO in the step S130), then the header may be parsed as a regular slice header(S134). The entropy decoder state may be reset(S136), and the neighbor information for the entropy decoding and the reconstruction may be defined(S138). The slice data may then be entropy decoded(S140), and the slice may be reconstructed (S142). If the entropy-slice flag indicates there are entropy slices associated with a picture(YES in the step S130), then the header may be parsed as an entropy-slice header(S148). The entropy decoder state may be reset(S150), the neighbor information for entropy decoding may be defined(S152) and the entropy-slice data may be entropy decoded(S154). The neighbor information for reconstruction may then be defined(S156), and the slice may be reconstructed(S142). After slice reconstruction in the step S142, the next slice, or picture, may be examined.

[0040] Some alternative decoder embodiments of the present invention may be described in relation to Figure 7. In these embodiments, the decoder may be capable of parallel decoding and may define its own degree of parallelism, for example, consider a decoder comprising the capability of decoding N entropy slices in parallel. The decoder may identify N entropy slices(S170). In some embodiments of the present invention, if fewer than N entropy slices are available in the current picture, or reconstruction slice, the decoder may decode entropy slices from subsequent pictures, or reconstruction slices, if they are available. In alternative embodiments, the decoder may wait until the current picture, or reconstruction slice, is completely processed before decoding portions of a subsequent picture, or reconstruction slice. After identifying up to N entropy slices in the step of S170, each of the identified entropy slices may be independently entropy decoded. A first entropy slice may be decoded (S172-S176). The decoding of the first entropy slice may comprise resetting the decoder state (S172). In some embodiments comprising CABAC entropy decoding, the CABAC state may be reset. The neighbor information for the entropy decoding of the first entropy slice may be defined (S174), and the first entropy slice data may be decoded (S176). For each of the up to N entropy slices, these steps may be performed (S178-S182 for the Nth entropy slice). In some embodiments of the present invention, the decoder may reconstruct the entropy slices when all of the entropy slices are entropy decoded(S184). In alternative embodiments of the present invention, the decoder may begin reconstruction in the step of S184 after one or more entropy slices are decoded.

[0041] In some embodiments of the present invention, when there are more than N entropy slices, a decode thread may begin entropy decoding a next entropy slice upon the completion of entropy decoding of an entropy slice. Thus when a thread finishes entropy decoding a low complexity entropy slice, the thread may commence decoding additional entropy slices without waiting for other threads to finish their decoding.

[0042] In some embodiments of the present invention which may accommodate an existing standard or method, an entropy slice may share most of the slice attributes of a regular slice according to the standard or method. Therefore, an entropy slice may require a small header. In some embodiments of the present invention, the entropy slice header may allow a decoder to identify the start of an entropy slice and start entropy decoding. In some embodiments, at the start of a picture, or a reconstruction slice, the entropy slice header may be the regular header, or a reconstruction slice header.

[0043] In some embodiments of the present invention comprising an H.264/AVC codec, an entropy slice may be signaled by adding a new bit, "entropy_slice_flag" to the existing slice header. Table 1 lists the syntax for an entropy slice header according to embodiments of the present invention, wherein C indicates Category and Descriptor u(1), ue(v) indicate some fixed length or variable length coding methods.

[0044] "first_mb_in_slice" specifies the address of the first macroblock in the entropy slice associated with the entropy-slice header. In some embodiments, the entropy slice may comprise a sequence of macroblocks.

[0045] "cabac_init_idc" specifies the index for determining the initialization table used in the initialization process for the context mode.
Table 1: Syntax Table for Entropy Slice Header
slice_header() {CDescriptor
  entropy_slice_flag 2 u(1)
  if (entropy_slice_flag) {    
    first_mb_in_slice 2 ue(v)
    if (entropy_coding_mode_flag && slice_type != I && slice_type != SI)    
      cabac_init_idc 2 ue(v)
    }    
  }    
  else {    
    a regular slice header ...    
  }    
}    


[0046] In some embodiments of the present invention, entropy decoding a entropy slice may comprise initializing a plurality of context models; and updating the plurality of context models during entropy decoding the entropy slice.

[0047] In some embodiments of the present invention, an entropy slice may be assigned a different network abstraction layer (NAL) unit type from the regular slices. In these embodiments, a decoder may distinguish between regular slices and entropy slices based on the NAL unit type. In these embodiments, the bit field "entropy_slice_flag" is hot required.

[0048] In some embodiments of the present invention, an entropy slice may be constructed by altering the data multiplexing. In some embodiments of the present invention, the group of symbols contained in an entropy slice may be multiplexed at the macroblock level. In alternative embodiments of the present invention, the group of symbols contained in an entropy slice may be multiplexed at the picture level. In other alternative embodiments of the present invention, the group of symbols contained in an entropy slice may be multiplexed by data type. In yet alternative embodiments of the present invention, the group of symbols contained in an entropy slice may be multiplexed in a combination of the above.

[0049] Some embodiments of the present invention method comprises encoding a video frame in a video sequence, which includes partitioning a frame in a video sequence into at least one reconstruction slice, thereby producing a reconstruction slice; and partitioning the reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices.

[0050] Some embodiments of the present invention comprising entropy slice construction based on picture level multiplexing may be understood in relation to Figure 8 and Figure 9. In some embodiments of the present invention shown in Figure 8, prediction data 190 and residual data 192 may be entropy encoded by prediction encoder 194, and residual encoder 196 separately and multiplexed by picture-level multiplexer 198 at the picture level. In some embodiments of the present invention, the prediction data for a picture 190 may be associated with a first entropy slice, and the residual data for a picture 192 may be associated with a second entropy slice. The encoded prediction data and the encoded entropy data may be decoded in parallel. In some embodiments of the present invention, each partition comprising prediction data or residual data may be partitioned into entropy slices which may be decoded in parallel.

[0051] In some embodiments of the present invention shown in Figure 9, the residual of each color plane, for example, the luma (Y) residual 200 and the two chroma (U and V) residuals 202, 204, may be entropy encoded by Y encoder 206, U encoder 208,and V encoder 210 separately and multiplexed by picture-level multiplexer 212 at the picture level. In some embodiments of the present invention, the luma residual for a picture 200 may be associated with a first entropy slice, the first chroma(U) residual for a picture 202 may be associated with a second entropy slice, and the second chroma residual(V) for a picture 204 may be associated with a third entropy slice. The encoded residual data for the three color planes may be decoded in parallel. In some embodiments of the present invention, each partition comprising color-plane residual data may be partitioned into entropy slices which may be decoded in parallel. In some embodiments of the present invention, the luma residual 200 may have relatively more entropy slices compared to the chroma residuals 202, 204.

[0052] In some embodiments of the present invention, a compressed-video bitstream may be transcoded to comprise entropy slices, thereby allowing for parallel entropy decoding as accommodated by embodiments of the present invention described above. Some -embodiments of the present invention may be described in relation to Figure 10. An input bitstream without entropy slices may be processed picture-by-picture according to Figure 10. In these embodiments of the present invention, a picture from the input bitstream may be entropy decoded(S220). The data which had been coded, for example, mode data, motion information, residual information and other data, may be obtained. Entropy slices may be constructed one at a time from the data(S222). An entropy-slice header corresponding to an entropy slice may be inserted in a new bitstream(S224). The encoder state may be reset and the neighbor information may be defined (S226). The entropy slice may be entropy encoded 228 and written to the new bitstream. If there is picture data that has not been consumed by the constructed entropy slices(NO in the step S230), then another entropy slice may be constructed in the step of S222, and the process of S224-S230 may continue until all of the picture data has been consumed by the constructed entropy slices(YES in the step S230), and then the next picture may be processed.

[0053] The terms and expressions which have been employed in the foregoing specification are used therein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalence of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the scope of the invention is defined and limited only by the claims which follow.

EMBODIMENTS



[0054] It should be understood that the present invention can also (alternatively) be defined in accordance with the following embodiments:
  1. 1. A method for decoding a video bitstream, said method comprising: a) entropy decoding a first portion of a video bitstream, wherein said first portion of said video bitstream is associated with a video frame, thereby producing a first portion of decoded data; b) entropy decoding a second portion of said video bitstream, wherein said second portion of said video bitstream is associated with said video frame, thereby producing a second portion of decoded data, wherein said entropy decoding said second portion of said video bitstream is independent of said entropy decoding said first portion of said video bitstream; and c) reconstructing a first portion of said video frame associated with said video bitstream using said first portion of decoded data and said second portion of decoded data.
  2. 2. A method as described in embodiment 1 further comprising: a) de-multiplexing said first portion of decoded data; and b) de-multiplexing said second portion of decoded data.
  3. 3. A method as described in embodiment 1, wherein said video bitstream comprises a first flag for indicating whether or not said video bitstream comprises a plurality of entropy slices.
  4. 4. A method as described in embodiment 1, wherein: a) said entropy decoding said first portion of said video bitstream comprises: i) initializing a first plurality of context models; and ii) updating said first plurality of context models during said entropy decoding said first portion of said video bitstream; and b) said entropy decoding said second portion of said video bitstream comprises i) initializing a second plurality of context models; and ii) updating said second plurality of context models during said entropy decoding said second portion of said video bitstream.
  5. 5. A method as described in embodiment 1 further comprising parsing said video bitstream to identify said first portion of said video bitstream and said second portion of said video bitstream.
  6. 6. A method as described in embodiment 5, wherein said first portion of said video bitstream is identified by a first header.
  7. 7. A method as described in embodiment 1, wherein said reconstructing said first portion of said video frame comprises: a) generating a first reconstructed macroblock using said first portion of decoded data; and b) generating a second reconstructed macroblock using said first reconstructed macroblock and said second portion of decoded data.
  8. 8. A method for decoding a video frame in a video sequence, said method comprising: a) receiving a bitstream; b) identifying a reconstruction slice in said bitstream; c) identifying a plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice in said bitstream; d) entropy decoding each of said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices; and e) reconstructing a portion of a video frame associated with said reconstruction slice using said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices.
  9. 9. A method as described in embodiment 8, wherein said reconstruction slice corresponds to entirety of said video frame.
  10. 10. A method as described in embodiment 8, wherein entropy decoding a first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice comprises: a) initializing a plurality of context models; and b) updating said plurality of context models during said entropy decoding said first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice.
  11. 11. A method as described in embodiment 10, wherein said first entropy slice is identified by a first header.
  12. 12. A method as described in embodiment 8 wherein said identifying said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice comprises parsing said bitstream to identify each entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice.
  13. 13. A method as described in embodiment 8, wherein said reconstructing said portion of said video frame associated with said reconstruction slice comprises: a) generating a first reconstructed macroblock using a first entropy-decoded entropy slice from said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices; and b) generating a second reconstructed macroblock using said first reconstructed macroblock and a second entropy-decoded entropy slice from said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices.
  14. 14. A method for encoding a video frame in a video sequence, said method comprising: a) partitioning a first frame in a video sequence into at least one reconstruction slice, thereby producing a first reconstruction slice; and b) partitioning said first reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices.
  15. 15. A method as described in embodiment 14, wherein: a) a first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a luma-component residual data for said first frame; b) a second entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a first-chroma-component residual data for said first frame; and c) a third entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a second-chroma-component residual data for said first frame.
  16. 16. A method as described in embodiment 14, wherein: a) a first plurality of entropy slices in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a luma-component residual data for said first frame; b) a second plurality of entropy slices in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a first-chroma-component residual data for said first frame ; and c) a third plurality of entropy slices in said plurality of entropy slices is associated with a second-chroma-component residual data for said first frame.
  17. 17. A method as described in embodiment 14 further comprising, for a first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices, marking all data in said remaining entropy slices in said plurality of entropy slices as unavailable for neighborhood availability for entropy decoding a block in said first entropy slice .
  18. 18. A method as described in embodiment 14 further comprising associating an entropy-slice header with each of said plurality of entropy slices.
  19. 19. A method as described in embodiment 14 further comprising associating an entropy-slice flag with a bitstream generated using said plurality of entropy slices.
  20. 20. A method for generating a video bitstream for parallel decoding, said method comprising: a) receiving a first video bitstream; b) identifying a reconstruction slice in said video bitstream; c) entropy decoding a plurality of symbols from said reconstruction slice, thereby producing entropy-decoded data associated with said reconstruction slice; d) partitioning said entropy-decoded data associated with said reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice; e) independently entropy encoding the entropy-decoded data of each entropy slice of said plurality of entropy slices, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices; and f) generating a second video bitstream comprising said plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices .
  21. 21. A method as described in embodiment 20 further comprising associating a header with each entropy-encoded entropy slice in said plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices.
  22. 22. A method as described in embodiment 20 further comprising associating an entropy-slice flag with said second video bitstream.
  23. 23. A method as described in embodiment 20 further comprising de-multiplexing said entropy-decoded data associated with said reconstruction slice.
  24. 24. A method as described in embodiment 20, wherein independently entropy encoding the entropy-decoded data of each of said plurality of entropy slices comprises for each entropy slice: a) initializing a plurality of context models; and b) updating said plurality of context models during said entropy encoding.
  25. 25. A device for decoding a video bitstream, said device comprising: means for entropy decoding a first portion of a video bitstream, wherein said first portion of said video bitstream is associated with a video frame, thereby producing a first portion of decoded data; means for entropy decoding a second portion of said video bitstream, wherein said second portion of said video bitstream is associated with said video frame, thereby producing a second portion of decoded data, wherein said entropy decoding said second portion of said video bitstream is independent of said entropy decoding said first portion of said video bitstream; and means for reconstructing a first portion of said video frame associated with said video bitstream using said first portion of decoded data and said second portion of decoded data.
  26. 26. A device for generating a video bitstream for parallel decoding, said device comprising: a) means for receiving a first video bitstream; b) means for identifying a reconstruction slice in said video bitstream; c) means for entropy decoding a plurality of symbols from said reconstruction slice, thereby producing entropy-decoded data associated with said reconstruction slice; d) means for partitioning said entropy-decoded data associated with said reconstruction slice into a plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice; e) means for independently entropy encoding the entropy-decoded data of each entropy slice of said plurality of entropy slices, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices; and f) means for generating a second video bitstream comprising said plurality of entropy-encoded entropy slices.



Claims

1. A device for decoding a video bitstream, wherein the device comprises:
means for decoding a video frame (110) configured to decode the video frame (110) in a video sequence, wherein the video frame is partitioned in multiple reconstruction slices (111, 112, 113), wherein each reconstruction slice comprises a sequence of different macroblocks (115-123) of the video frame and is self-contained in the respect that values of the samples in an area of the video frame represented by the reconstruction slice can be correctly reconstructed without use of data from other reconstruction slices, said device comprising:

a) means for receiving the video bitstream corresponding to the video frame;

b) means for identifying a reconstruction slice (112) in said video bitstream;

c) means for identifying a plurality of entropy slices (112-1, 112-2, 112-3) associated with said reconstruction slice (112) in said video bitstream and an associated plurality of entropyslice headers,

wherein each entropy slice (112-1; 112-2; 112-3) consists of a sequence of different macroblocks (117-121) of the reconstruction slice (112),

wherein at the start of the reconstruction slice the entropy slice header is a reconstruction slice header of the reconstruction slice,

wherein the plurality of entropy slices (112-1; 112-2; 112-3) in the reconstruction slice (112) share reconstruction slice attributes defined in the reconstruction slice header, and

wherein macroblocks in other entropy slices (112-1; 112-3) outside of a particular entropy slice (112-2) of the reconstruction slice (112) are used for reconstruction of the particular entropy slice (112-2);

d) means for entropy decoding each of said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice, thereby producing a plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices,
wherein the means for entropy decoding are further configured such that each entropy slice is independently entropy decoded without the use of data from other entropy slices by carrying out steps of: resetting an entropy decoder state (S172, S178), defining neighbor information for the entropy decoding (S174, S180) of the entropy slice, and entropy decoding the entropy slice data (S176, S182); and

e) means for reconstructing a portion of the video frame associated with said reconstruction slice using said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices.


 
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for entropy decoding are further configured to entropy decode a first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice by carrying out steps of: a) initializing a plurality of context models; and b) updating said plurality of context models during said entropy decoding said first entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice.
 
3. The device of claim 2, wherein said first entropy slice is identified by a first header.
 
4. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for identifying said plurality of entropy slices are further configured to parse said video bitstream to identify each entropy slice in said plurality of entropy slices associated with said reconstruction slice.
 
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the means for reconstructing said portion of said video frame are further configured to carry out steps of: a) generating a first reconstructed macroblock using a first entropy-decoded entropy slice from said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices; and b) generating a second reconstructed macroblock using said first reconstructed macroblock and a second entropy-decoded entropy slice from said plurality of entropy-decoded entropy slices.
 
6. The device of any of the preceding claims, wherein the entropy slice header being a reconstruction slice header of the reconstruction slice includes a first flag indicating that an encoder has determined to partition the reconstruction slice into entropy slices.
 
7. The device of any of the preceding claims, wherein each entropyslice header is configured to allow a decoder to identify a start of an entropy slice and start entropy decoding.
 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Non-patent literature cited in the description