Intel Updates VA-API Video Acceleration Code
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 3 August 2012 at 08:45 AM EDT. 7 Comments
Intel's Video Acceleration API (VA-API) has seen updates to its core library as well as to the Intel-specific VA-API Intel driver.

The libva-1.0.16 that was announced by Haihao Xiang of Intel adds API support for handling data structures for JPEG baseline decoding, clearing up another bit of the API, and adding a test case for VA-API JPEG decoding. The announcement of this generic VA-API library update can be found on the libva mailing list.

At the same time, Haihao announced the VA-API Intel driver 1.0.18 update in this mailing list message. The VA-API driver implementation for Intel "GenX" hardware brings a JPEG decoding implementation for Intel Ivy Bridge hardware, support for a new Ivy Bridge chipset, support for new API calls, fixed decoding of MPEG-2 with implicit IQ matrices, fixing concurrent creation of VA objects (multi-threading safety), and fixed decoding of large resolution videos. VA-API can handle decoding of 4K resolution videos with this latest generation Ivy Bridge hardware. The newly-added Ivy Bridge chip for the Intel VA-API driver is a server chip with GT2 graphics that carries a PCI ID of 0x016a.

VA-API video encode/decode support continues to be one of the advantages of Intel's open-source Linux graphics stack. AMD has yet to document or publish code on their UVD video encode/decode engine for their Radeon hardware and Nouveau developers are still doing reverse-engineering and driver development, so those Linux desktop users interested in video playback with open-source mainline Linux graphics drivers are best off with Intel and using the widely-supported VA-API for now. If you don't mind using proprietary Linux graphics drivers, NVIDIA graphics cards with their binary blob backed by VDPAU continues to be another excellent choice.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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