October 25, 2020

Microsoft will bring Windows 10 AV1 decoder hardware acceleration

2 min read

The AV1 format is an open-source image and video encoding format designed by the Alliance for Open Media. The biggest advantage of this open-source encoding format is that it does not require copyright fees.

The Alliance for Open Media is a technology standards alliance jointly established by industry giants such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Cisco, Netflix, Apple, and Intel.

These industry giants hope to replace proprietary encoding formats with new open-source encoding formats, thereby promoting the vigorous development of image and video and the entire Internet industry.

The Alliance for Open Media has currently launched the AV1 video encoding format and AVIF image encoding format, but these open source encoding formats have not yet been mainstreamed.

Samsung join AOMedia

Earlier, we reported that the 8K video of the YouTube video site changed from VP9 encoding to AV1 encoding, but now it mainly relies on software layer decoding.

Therefore, when watching videos, the CPU usage rate soars and even affects the normal use of the system. Therefore, AV1 may be difficult to promote if it is decoded by software.

The good news is that the industry is already actively adapting this technology for hardware decoding. For example, MediaTek Dimensity 1000 processor integrated AV1 hard decoder before.

This processor is also the first mobile phone chip to support the AV1 codec, but it seems that only some of Intel’s new processors currently support hardware solutions on the desktop platform.

But as an operating system developer, Microsoft is also a member of the Alliance for Open Media and is currently thinking of new ways to optimize AV1 for devices without hardware decoders.

Microsoft recently announced that the company is currently preparing to optimize the AV1 codec, and its AV1 video codec will receive hardware acceleration.

Microsoft said the company expects to launch a new version of the AV1 video codec in the fall, supporting Windows 10 v1909 and subsequent versions for hardware acceleration.

Unfortunately, the AV1 video codec hardware acceleration only supports new processors and graphics cards, and the old CPUs and GPUs can still only rely on the CPU.

The new devices supported include Intel’s 11th generation processors with Iris X, NVIDIA RTX30 series graphics cards, and AMD’s upcoming RX6000 series.

After installing the AV1 video codec introduced by Microsoft, this new hardware can be hardware accelerated in supported browsers such as based-Chromium browsers.