The JPEG Standard – ISO/IEC 10918

JPEG Standard ISO IEC 10918

Standardization is hardly a topic overtly rolling around in the average person’s mind, but its influence is seen almost everywhere, waging a positive impact on industrial processes and even the behavior of the modern consumer. An accessible example of the vast behind-the-scenes activities and work of standardization is JPEG.

Many know .jpeg as a common file extension for images, so they are at least partially acquainted with it. What they likely may not know is that JPEG derives from the Joint Photographic Experts Group, a committee that serves as a joint working group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Specifically, JPEG is Working Group 1 (WG1), Coding of Still Pictures, of JTC 1’s subcommittee 29 (SC29), Coding of Audio, Picture, Multimedia and Hypermedia Information.

JPEG is considered a joint committee due to collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The JPEG standard, which the committee first created in 1992 but has since revised, is a commonly used method of lossy compression for digital images. Through the ISO/IEC 10918 series of specifications, the core coding technology, methods for compliance testing, various extensions, and various other factors are detailed. The information in these documents helps to assure the universality and reliability of JPEG for digital camera photos and transferring images on the World Wide Web.

The JPEG standard is broken up into six existing parts:

ISO/IEC 10918-1:1994 – Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Requirements and guidelines

This standard has a corrigendum: ISO/IEC 10918-1/Cor1:2005

ISO/IEC 10918-2:1995 – Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Compliance testing

ISO/IEC 10918-3:1997 – Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Extensions

This standard has an amendment: ISO/IEC 10918-3/Amd1:1999 – Provisions to allow registration of new compression types and versions in the SPIFF header

ISO/IEC 10918-4:1999 – Information technology — Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Registration of JPEG profiles, SPIFF profiles, SPIFF tags, SPIFF colour spaces, APPn markers, SPIFF compression types and Registration Authorities (REGAUT)

This standard has an amendment: ISO/IEC 10918-4:1999/Amd1:2013 – Application specific marker list

ISO/IEC 10918-5:2013 – Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: JPEG File Interchange Format (JFIF)

ISO/IEC 10918-6:2013 – Information technology – Digital compression and coding of continuous-tone still images: Application to printing systems

Please note that amendments to standards are released in between revisions drafted through the periodic review process, and they make technical changes to existing standards documents. Corrigenda documents, on the other hand, simply fix editorial errors in existing standards that could otherwise lead to some confusion with a compliant user.

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