Optimizing an OpenCL Application for Video Watermarking in FPGAs

Jasmina Vasiljevic
University of Toronto
Xcell Journal, 2015


   title={Optimizing an OpenCL Application for Video Watermarking in FPGAs},

   author={Vasiljevic, Jasmina},



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Video streaming and downloading account for the majority of consumer Internet traffic and are a driving force behind cloud computing. The continually growing demand for this type of content is pushing video-processing applications out of specialized systems and into the data center. This shift in the deployment paradigm allows for the rapid scaling of computation nodes to accommodate the needs of the different compute-intensive stages of video content preparation and distribution, such as transcoding and watermarking. We recently used Xilinx’s SDAccel development environment to compile and optimize a video-watermarking application written in OpenCL for an FPGA accelerator card. Video content providers use watermarking to brand and protect their content. Our goal was to design a watermarking application that would process high-definition (HD) video at a 1080p resolution with a target throughput of 30 frames per second (fps) running on an Alpha Data ADM-PCIE-7V3 card. The SDAccel development environment enables designers to take applications captured in OpenCL and compile them to an FPGA without requiring knowledge of the underlying FPGA implementation tools. The video-watermarking application serves as a perfect way to introduce the main optimization techniques available in SDAccel.
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