Socionext implements AV1 encoder on FPGA over cloud service

Socionext has developed a prototype implementation of video encoder functionalities of the latest video compression format AV1 onto Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)F1 Instance. Utilizing F1, Socionext was able to complete the development and achieved high performance in just one and a half months. Based on this result, Socionext will explore the possibility of new, service-oriented products that allow customers to use functions of semiconductor devices through cloud services, and to provide users with other accelerators built on the cloud to boost the productivity of large-scale, high-performance cloud-based applications.

AV1 is a new, advanced video data compression standard established by the Alliance for Open Media, a consortium that includes Socionext. AV1 is capable of compressing data about 30% more effectively than HEVC, while keeping the same image quality. The first official specification of AV1 was released in March, and many hardware and software companies are developing the implementation. It is expected that the introduction of this new format will further promote the distribution of high-definition, high-quality video contents such as 4K.

Socionext has chosen Amazon EC2 F1 Instance as the environment in which it built a dedicated encoding accelerator onto an FPGA, available over the cloud with the Instance. It is the first prototype of a hardware-based implementation of an AV1 encoder system. By utilizing F1, Socionext was able to complete the development in just one and a half months, while also delivering very high hardware accelerator performance. It runs 10x faster than existing encoders running on a CPU only.

Socionext presented this result at the “AWS Summit Tokyo 2018” on June 1st. Based on this encouraging result, Socionext will be able to quickly offer customers an environment to use the codec functionality through the cloud.

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