Real-time image registration is potentially an enabling technology for the effective and efficient use of many image-guided diagnostic and treatment procedures relying on multimodality image fusion or serial image comparison. Mutual information is currently the best-known image similarity measure for intensity-based multimodality image registration. The calculation of mutual information is memory intensive and does not benefit from cache-based memory architectures in standard software implementations, i.e., the calculation incurs a large number of cache misses. Previous attempts to perform image registration in real time focused on parallel supercomputer implementations, which achieved significant speedups using large, expensive supercomputers that are impractical for clinical deployment. We present a hardware architecture that can be used to accelerate a number of linear and elastic image registration algorithms that use mutual information as an image similarity measure. A proof-of-concept implementation of the architecture achieved speedups of 30 for linear registration and 100 for elastic registration against a 3.2 GHz Pentium III Xeon workstation. Further speedup can be achieved by using several modules in parallel.
Carlos R. Castro-Pareja, Raj Shekhar, "Hardware Acceleration of Mutual Information-Based 3D Image Registration" in Journal of Imaging Science and Technology, 2005, pp 105 - 113, https://doi.org/10.2352/J.ImagingSci.Technol.2005.49.2.art00002