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Intel Proposes Major Additions To VA-API Acceleration

Intel

Published on 17 August 2011 09:49 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel
9 Comments

Here's some more interesting news on top of photos of Steamworks on Linux. Intel has submitted a proposal to extend VA-API, the Video Acceleration API, to support H.264 encode and video post-processing. This is the video acceleration API used by Intel's graphics driver, among others, and is the second most popular Linux video API after NVIDIA's VDPAU, the Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix.

Intel's Jonathan Bian wrote to the VA-API development list with this proposal and where Intel sees the APIs as needing to be changed and extended. In particular, they want to add a new entry-point so VA-API can deal with video post-processing, a number of configuration attributes to accommodate different capabilities in hardware encoders, new buffer types (for the application and to deal with the post-processing capabilities), and the necessary changes to for H.264 to support H.264 High Profile encoding.

In terms of the VA-API post-processing design, "With this proposal, video post-processing is modeled as a pipeline of connected and configurable processing filters. The existing vaBeginPicture/vaRenderPicture/vaEndPicture semantics is used to perform video post-processing frame by frame, with configuration parameters passed through vaRenderPicture as buffers. For optimal performance, the assumption is made that the implementation will retain the parameter settings affecting the processing pipeline until the application makes explicit modifications of these parameters."

More details on this Intel proposal can be found in this mailing list message. Seeing as Intel is the main backer of VA-API, these changes should get in once the developers come to an agreement about the API alterations. Hopefully this will make for a more interesting video encoding experience for Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge hardware and potentially the current-generation Sandy Bridge CPUs.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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