H265 / HEVC, hardware accelerated, in #Webrtc – DONE … well, almost.

This is really a great week with so many of the projects cosmo has been working on or helping for the past years coming out almost at the same time. During last IETF Hackathon, at the webrtc table, and then at cosmo offices in Singapore, INTEL and Apple came together to add HEVC support in webrtc.

INTEL chips have been supporting Encoding and Decoding for some time now. They support it in non-GPU hardware, making it a big deal for devices that can’t afford full discrete GPU. Most Apple devices integrate those INTEL chip, so having support in WebRTC for H265 HW acceleration was de facto enabling H265 in all of Apple devices in one shot (without legal issues). Of course, the more support there is for INTEL features in media stacks above, the more hardware they sell. Win-Win

INTEL (webrtc group in Shanghai) had an implementation for Desktop, android and iOS. CoSMo acted as a catalyst between the two teams, and the two language/culture (chinese and french :-)).

This blog is about the tech details of H265 in particular, and Hardware Accelerated Codecs implementation in libwebrtc in particular.
Updated on april, 7th, to add info about GPU acceleration support, in addition to INTEL CPU HA acceleration support.

(*) CPU Hardware acceleration means the CPU has dedicated silicon circuit to implement the function, as opposed to running a software implementation in the generic x86 CPU. Even though both use the CPU, the former is much faster.

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