Design and implementation of an embedded NIOS II system for JPEG2000 tier II encoding

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electrical Engineering


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Advisor: Eric Balster


Image compression standards continually strive to to achieve higher compression ratios while maintaining image quality. In addition to these goals, new applications require expanded features and flexibility as compared to existing compression standards. JPEG2000 is the latest in the line of image compression standards, offering higher compression ratios than its predecessor JPEG while maintaining comparable image quality. In addition, JPEG2000 offers an extended range of features including bit-rate control, region of interest coding and file-stream scalability with respect to resolution, image quality, components and spatial region. However, these additional features come with associated costs, primarily in the form of computational complexity. Due to the increased computational costs, JPEG2000 has not achieved the same wide-spread usage as JPEG. However, there are a number of specialized applications such as medical imaging and wide-area surveillance which demand the extended features offered by JPEG2000. These applications generally deal with high resolution imagery, resulting in extremely long encoding times when using consumer off the shelf platforms. As a result, many hardware implementations of the most computationally complex portions of JPEG2000, namely Tier I encoding, have been proposed. This thesis proposes using an embedded soft-core processor on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) for JPEG2000 code stream organization, known as Tier II. The soft-core processor chosen, Altera's NIOS II core, is coupled with existing Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Tier I implementations on a single FPGA to realize a fully embedded JPEG2000 encoder. Results show the feasibility of using an embedded soft-core processor on a FPGA to perform Tier II processing for JPEG2000.


Embedded computer systems Design and construction, Field programmable gate arrays, JPEG (Image coding standard)

Rights Statement

Copyright 2012, author