LZHAM 1.0 Isn't Too Far Away For Compression Of Interest To Game Developers
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 17 January 2015 at 09:45 PM EST. 11 Comments
Rich Geldreich, the former Valve developer associated with some of the game company's past Linux and OpenGL projects, is getting close to releasing LZHAM v1.0 as his lossless data compression library.

Even during his days at Valve, Geldreich had been working on his open-source LZHAM library. LZHAM is a data compression library inspired in part by LZMA but aims to provide faster decompression speed over compression ratio. According to Geldreich's data, LZHAM has a compression ratio a bit less than LZMA but can be decompressed two to three times faster on modern Intel hardware. LZHAM can be particularly useful for embedded devices, gaming platforms, and other scenarios where a fast decompression response time is vital.

If you haven't heard of LZHAM up until now, check out Rich's Google Code site.

Geldreich is preparing to release LZHAM v1.0 as noted on his blog. He's now ported the code to OS X, added new compression/decompression parameters, and made other improvements.

Geldreich's initial 1.0 post was made on Friday and then today he made another one about more progress. Of interest to game developers, "I'm currently seeing overall decompression speedups around 1.8x - 3.8x faster vs. previous LZHAM releases on Unity asset bundle files."

It will be interesting to see if game developers decide to pickup LZHAM for compressing game asset files once this new format is declared stable. Already Titanfall and Planetside 2 are among the games using LZHAM.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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