H.264 Encoding On Skylake Gets A Big Performance Boost

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 11 May 2016 at 08:12 AM EDT. 4 Comments
Patches have emerged for being able to take advantage of Intel's low-power/high-performance H.264 encoder on Linux via VA-API.

Skylake features a dedicated "VDENC" video encoder engine for doing low-power encodings but up to now the open-source Intel VA-API driver hasn't supported the VDENC engine. Patches are now out there for enabling said support in libva and the vaapi-intel-driver. Patches were also published so this support can be utilized by GStreamer.

In terms of the performance impact, Sreerenj Balachandran of Intel OTC commented, "My initial test cases showing ~40-50% faster encoding. This will really boost the live encoding use cases." Sreerenj also reiterated in an email to Phoronix, "This will be a huge boost for live encoding scenarios."

More details on this Skylake VDENC support for VA-API can be found via this BugZilla thread.
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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 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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