Intel Releases Fast AV1 Video Encoder for CPUs

Intel Releases Fast AV1 Video Encoder for CPUs

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Being one of the Alliance for Open Media founding members, Intel has done a lot to promote the AV1 codec and make it more accessible to content makers/providers and end-users. Intel was the first to offer hardware AV1 decoding with its Xe-LP GPUs in 2020. This week it released version 1.0 of its speedy open-source Scalable Video Technology AV1 encoder and decoder for CPUs. SVT-AV1 works with all modern processors. 

The AV1 open-source video codec was designed for ultra-high-def resolutions, wide color gamut, and high-dynamic range enhancements. AOMedia said in 2018 that its AV1 was 30% more efficient than existing codecs (implying primarily on H.265/HEVC that is designed for similar 4K+ content), which is a big deal. But one problem with highly-efficient codecs is that they are extremely hungry for resources and generally require hardware acceleration to work correctly. Meanwhile, modern CPUs have a lot of resources and new instructions that can be applied to decoding and encoding, which is precisely what SVT-AV1 does. 

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