Vidyo Puts Quad-Core to Good Use

Tuesday 1/8/13 01:42pm
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Posted By William Frantz
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There’s some new gear available for developers wanting early access to next generation devices. The Snapdragon™ S4 Pro Mobile Development Platform for tablets (MDP/T) brings number-crunching, quad-core power to computational intensive tasks. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you can see how Vidyo put the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor to work.

Vidyo is Adaptive Video
While you may not have seen the Vidyo logo before, there is a good chance you have used their technology. Vidyo is the engine powering several popular video chat services including Nintendo Wii U and Google Hangouts. One of the many reasons that Vidyo is a popular choice for personal telepresence is Vidyo’s unique Adaptive Layering Technology. Vidyo takes advantage of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) variant of H.264 to dynamically optimize the video for fluxations in network bandwidth. Adaptive Video Layering offers unprecedented error resiliency and low latency rate matching thus enabling natural, affordable, high-quality video to work over the Internet, LTE and 4G networks. Vidyo has been active driving H.264 SVC and Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) videoconferencing interoperability in various standards bodies since 2005.

I have previously written several times about the excellent dedicated hardware for video processing found in all Snapdragon processors. Processing video is very computationally intensive which is why special hardware is dedicated to the task. Without dedicated hardware, it was unthinkable for a mobile processor to do something as advanced as High Definition Scalable Video Coding. That is to say, it was unthinkable until now. The Snapdragon S4 Pro has so much processing power available that Vidyo was able to achieve HD SVC video conferencing without hardware acceleration.

In Snapdragon processors, the video hardware supports several popular video codecs including H.264, but there is no hardware acceleration available for SVC. Instead, Vidyo has implemented all of the video encoding and decoding using software algorithms running on the application processor. Before the S4 Pro, Vidyo had to limit the resolution of the streaming video. Now with quad-core, Vidyo is able to simultaneously decode an incoming 720p video stream and encode an outgoing 720p stream.

Working together, Qualcomm Technologies and Vidyo have developed a demonstration of HD SVC video chat for smart TVs featuring Snapdragon processors. On the big screen, you really appreciate the extra clarity that high definition provides. With the Vidyo Adaptive Layering Technology, the live video session quickly adapts to variations in network bandwidth during the call. Qualcomm Technologies has also combined video chat with other technology so that you can simultaneously run a video call and keep a web browser running. You can also smoothly transfer a video call from a mobile tablet, to a big screen TV without the need to hang-up and re-dial. All of these capabilities will be on display during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Bring Power to Your App
If you have a number crunching problem that you thought was impossible for a mobile processor, then you need the Snapdragon S4 Pro MDP/T. Vidyo found that even real-time HD SVC was now a reality thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. What new applications will you find for quad-core power? Let me know in the comments below.