Intel Releases New Linux Media Driver For VA-API

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 1 December 2017 at 05:43 AM EST. 10 Comments
While Intel has been supporting VA-API for years, basically since X-Video/XvMC became irrelevant, as its primary video API for video acceleration, they are now rolling out a new media driver.

Intel's new "Media Driver" still exposes VA-API as the video acceleration API for accelerated video encoding, decoding, and post-processing. But it appears to be an entirely new code-base compared to their longstanding intel-vaapi-driver.

This driver is MIT licensed and still depends upon libva as the main VA-API library but also introduces a new dependency on gmmlib: this is the Intel Graphics Memory Management Library. GmmLib is targeted for Intel OpenCL and Media Driver use-cases.

This new Intel Media Driver appears to just support Broadwell graphics hardware and newer. Supported formats include H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1, JPEG, VP8, HEVC/H.265, HEVC 10-bit, and VP9 10-bit. The VP9 10-bit and HEVC 10-bit are only supported at this time on the video decoding side and will only be introduced with next-gen Cannonlake processors.

Details and motivation on writing this new "Intel Media Driver" for Linux remain light and I have yet to see any official announcement out of Intel, but the code is available via intel/media-driver on GitHub with the initial public code drop having just occurred yesterday.
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