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
INTEL --
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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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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