SVT-VP9 Is Intel's Latest Open-Source Video Encoder Yielding High Performance VP9

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 17 February 2019 at 03:53 PM EST. 10 Comments
At the start of the month Intel open-sourced SVT-AV1 aiming for high-performance AV1 video encoding on CPUs. That complemented their existing SVT-HEVC encoder for H.265 content and already SVT-AV1 has been seeing nice performance improvements. Intel now has released SVT-VP9 as a speedy open-source VP9 video encoder.

Uploaded on Friday was the initial public open-source commit of SVT-VP9, the Intel Scalable Video Technology VP9 encoder. With this encoder they are focusing on being able to provide real-time encoding of up to two 4Kp60 streams on an Intel Xeon Gold 6140 processor. SVT-VP9 is under a BSD-style license and currently runs on Windows and Linux.

Earlier today I added now the SVT-VP9 test profile for benchmarking this new VP9 encoder via the Phoronix Test Suite. I've been testing SVT-VP9 on a few Intel/AMD Linux systems so far today and the early results are extremely promising.
SVT Video Encoding + vpxenc

The performance already for SVT-VP9 is very good, particularly for AVX-512 enabled processors like Xeon Scalable and the X series.
SVT Video Encoding + vpxenc

Even with using the same input sample content for VP9 libvpx and enabling the multi-threading options, the vpxenc performance doesn't come close to SVT-VP9 on either the Intel or AMD systems...
SVT Video Encoding + vpxenc

With the more mature SVT-HEVC H.265 encoder, the 7980XE / 7960X encode speed was similar to the SVT-VP9 implementation though on the other CPUs the performance varied between these two Intel SVT projects.
SVT Video Encoding + vpxenc

To no surprise, SVT-VP9 is much faster than the current state of SVT-AV1.

Overall, the SVT-VP9 performance is off to a very good start and was surprising to see it perform often better than the reference vpxenc. The code to SVT-VP9 can be found on GitHub.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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