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H.264 Encoding On Skylake Gets A Big Performance Boost
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.