Strongene Technology Launches HEVC/H.265 Video Streaming and Playing Solution for Intel® Atom™ Processor-based Mobile Devices

 

 

Intel Corp. and Strongene Technology Co., Ltd., a prominent leader in the field of kernel video coding technology, have joined forces to accelerate the adoption of a new, highly efficient video coding standard called HEVC/H.265. The combination of Intel's most advanced mobile platform with Strongene Technology’s high quality, super-fast video streaming solutions will open new market segments as service providers seek to provide users faster video download times. Today, video is the most bandwidth-consuming content on the Internet. Purchasing network bandwidth and Cloud storage is a significant expense, affecting video content providers’ bottom lines.

Compared to AVC/H.264, the previous generation video coding standard, Strongene Technology’s HEVC/H.265 video solutions can increase video resolution by 100% while concurrently reducing upload time and bandwidth requirements by 50%. Using solutions based on the new standard, a content provider can deliver higher quality video using less network bandwidth and lowering data storage costs. HEVC/H.265 makes it possible to watch a 1080p or 4K HD video on a mobile device or allow a mobile device to playback or broadcast HD video content on a connected HDTV or 4K TV with superb image quality and smoother playback.

The Genesis of the New Standard

Beginning in early 2010, Strongene Technology started working with the Institute of Computer Science and Technology of Peking University (ICST) on developing and promoting the application of the new codec standard.

In February 2013, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) officially approved the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/H.265 standard, whose code stream, encoding/decoding quality, algorithms, etc. had undergone a major renovation and comprehensive optimization. Compared to the existing H.264/AVC standard, HEVC/H.265 provides 100% higher video resolution and compacts the video size, which effectively reduces the video upload/download time and bandwidth requirements by 50% [1].

The latest version of the Intel® Atom™ processor (code named Bay Trail) released in 2013 gives mobile device users a significantly enhanced experience. Ideal for smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices, Bay Trail offers excellent performance, while reducing power consumption, thus extending battery life.

In March 2014, Strongene Technology launched the Strongene HEVC/H.265 Decoder for Android* and the Strongene HEVC/H.265 Codec Library for Android. Both support Intel® architecture and are full-platform solutions for large-scale commercial application development.

Intel and Strongene Technology announced their strategic cooperative initiative in April 2014 where Intel agreed to use the new standard to achieve real-time encoding and decoding on the Bay Trail platform. With this solution, Intel Atom processor-based tablets and smartphones will have 4K real-time decoding capability for high definition (HD) videos.

Growing Acceptance of the HEVC/H.265 Standard

Xunlei, one of China’s largest providers of digital content acceleration and online video services and parent company of KanKan, an HD video/TV streaming provider, is the first customer to use a video playing platform based on HEVC/H.265. "Xunlei KanKan has been concerned about the user experience for online high-definition video playback. By collaborating with Strongene Technology, we have the honor to become the first HD video streaming company that formally uses the HEVC/H.265 video playback platform to provide smoother, higher resolution video streaming services for the customers of Xunlei KanKan’s service," said Peng Huang, the CEO of Xunlei.

Tools for Optimizing HEVC/H.265

HEVC/H.265 encoding/decoding process is complicated and must be fully optimized to create practical applications. Intel and Strongene Technology worked together to improve the speed of the video codec and reduce energy consumption. Tools that proved critical for doing this are:

  • Intel® C++ Compiler [2]
  • Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel® SSE) [3]
  • Intel® Threading Building Blocks (Intel® TBB) [4]

Progress to Date: a Development Kit and more…

Working with Intel, Strongene created an HEVC/H.265 encoding and decoding development kit for the Intel Atom processor (Lentoid SDK). This SDK includes the interface header files, shared library files that include Intel SSE (for SIMD) and multi-threaded optimization for Intel Atom platforms, and documentation in English and Chinese.

Using the development kit, Intel and Strongene have developed:

  • A new version of the multimedia framework ffmpeg. A multiplexer and demultiplexer have been written that are suitable for ffmpeg’s .flv and .ts files and provide decompilation and configuration scripts for each platform.
  • Android-based video recording and transcoding applications. The video recording app can achieve common intermediate format (CIF) size, 15 FPS of HEVC/H.265 real-time video recording, while the transcoding app can convert videos of any format to the .ts or .flv video files.
  • Android media player applications. These apps not only can test the decoding speed of the video but are a good standard for ISVs to use to develop their own applications. On the latest Intel Atom platforms, the player can playback 1080P HD video at up to 90 FPS (full speed) or 24 FPS (normal speed). The player can lower its CPU occupancy rate to 25% or less.

Now available for download, developers and ISVs can use the HEVC/H.265 video coding solution to build Android applications for all Intel processor-based mobile devices.

References and Resources

  1. G.J. Sullivan; J. R. Ohm; W. J. Han; T. Wiegand. (December 2012). “Overview of the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) Standard.” IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, Vol. 22, No. 12, Web site: http://www.ee.cuhk.edu.hk/~mhwang/website_files/eleg5431/HEVC_Overview.pdf
  2. Intel® C++ Compiler:  https://software.intel.com/en-us/c-compilers
  3. Intel® Streaming SIMD Extensions (Intel® SSE): https://software.intel.com/en-us/articles/using-intel-streaming-simd-extensions-and-intel-integrated-performance-primitives-to-accelerate-algorithms
  4. Intel® Threading Building Blocks (Intel® TBB):  https://www.threadingbuildingblocks.org/

Learn More at Intel Developer Zone

 

More Information

Strongene Ltd. is a Chinese entrepreneurial company focusing on kernel video coding technology. Strongene Ltd. has been cooperating with Institute of Computer Science & Technology of Peking University (ICST)on developing and promoting the application of HEVC/H.265 codec from early 2010. Guided by the motivation of providing core technology and solutions for enterprise-class customers concentrating on video streaming industry, Strongene Ltd. aims at being the first Chinese company as the one of the leaders in the video technology and industry.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.