Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Ababei, Cristinel

Second Advisor

Yaz, Edwin E.

Third Advisor

Medeiros, Henry


This thesis develops the first fully network-on-chip (NoC) based h.264 video decoder implemented in real hardware on a field programmable gate array (FPGA). This thesis starts with an overview of the h.264 video coding standard and an introduction to the NoC communication paradigm. Following this, a series of processing elements (PEs) are developed which implement the component algorithms making up the h.264 video decoder. These PEs, described primarily in VHDL with some Verilog and C, are then mapped to an NoC which is generated using the CONNECT NoC generation tool. To demonstrate the scalability of the proposed NoC based design, a second NoC based video decoder is implemented on a smaller FPGA using the same PEs on a more compact NoC topology. The performance of both decoders, as well as their component PEs, is evaluated on real hardware. An analysis of the performance results is conducted and recommendations for future work are made based on the results of this analysis. Aside from the development of the proposed decoder, a major contribution of this thesis is the release of all source materials for this design as open source hardware and software. The release of these materials will allow other researchers to more easily replicate this work, as well as create derivative works in the areas of NoC based designs for FPGA, video coding and decoding, and related areas.