Video coding technology in the last 20 years has evolved producing a variety of different and complex algorithms and coding standards. So far the specification of such standards, and of the algorithms that build them, has been done case by case providing monolithic textual and reference software specifications in different forms and programming languages. However, very little attention has been given to provide a specification formalism that explicitly presents common components between standards, and the incremental modifications of such monolithic standards. The MPEG Reconfigurable Video Coding (RVC) framework is a new ISO standard currently under its final stage of standardization, aiming at providing video codec specifications at the level of library components instead of monolithic algorithms. The new concept is to be able to specify a decoder of an existing standard or a completely new configuration that may better satisfy application-specific constraints by selecting standard components from a library of standard coding algorithms. The possibility of dynamic configuration and reconfiguration of codecs also requires new methodologies and new tools for describing the new bitstream syntaxes and the parsers of such new codecs. The RVC framework is based on the usage of a new actor/ dataflow oriented language called CAL for the specification of the standard library and instantiation of the RVC decoder model. This language has been specifically designed for modeling complex signal processing systems. CAL dataflow models expose the intrinsic concurrency of the algorithms by employing the notions of actor programming and dataflow. The paper gives an overview of the concepts and technologies building the standard RVC framework and the non standard tools supporting the RVC model from the instantiation and simulation of the CAL model to software and/or hardware code synthesis.
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