NVIDIA RTX 30 Series Supports AV1 Accelerated Video Decoding

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 1 September 2020 at 01:50 PM EDT. 40 Comments
One important bit not covered in today's GeForce RTX 3070/3080/3090 announcement but now detailed via the NVIDIA website is confirmation that the RTX 30 "Ampere" GPUs do in fact have dedicated AV1 hardware decode capabilities.

The RTX 30 series is NVIDIA's first line of GPUs supporting AV1 decode (though sadly no AV1 encode) for this open-source, royalty-free video codec that competes with H.264/H.265 and has shown much industry interest and growing adoption.

NVIDIA has added an AV1 decoding page talking up their AV1 decode support with the RTX 30 series GPUs. NVIDIA is also working with the likes of VideoLAN's VLC for supporting their AV1 hardware decoding as well as Google Chrome.

The technical details were not revealed but presumably they have extended their NVDEC "Video Codec SDK" interface to handle AV1 hardware decoding. It's unlikely NVIDIA is adding AV1 decode to their VDPAU Linux-specific video API that has fallen out in favor of NVENC/NVDEC, but in any case it's great seeing the RTX 30 series having fixed-function AV1 decode capabilities.

The NVIDIA RTX 30 series joins Intel's forthcoming Xe-LP graphics with Tiger Lake as being the first major consumer GPUs supporting AV1 hardware decode along with a variety of embedded SoCs and other chips. Here's to hoping VCN 3.0 with Navi 2 will also have AV1 decode...
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