Intel® Media Software Development Kit (Intel® Media SDK)

Media SDK FAQ

Q1: What is the Intel Media SDK?

A1: The Intel® Media Software Development Kit (Intel Media SDK) 2013, a new version of the popular cross-platform application programming interface (API) for developing consumer and professional media applications, including video editing and processing, media conversion, streaming and playback, and video conferencing. The SDK makes it easy for developers to optimize applications for Intel HD Graphics’ fixed-function hardware acceleration, currently part of the 2nd and 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors.

Q2: What are the new features of Intel Media SDK 2013?

A2: The SDK is optimized to utilize the power of upcoming 4th generation Intel Core processors, codenamed “Haswell,” and now, Intel Atom® processor-based tablets for a consistently high-quality media experience. In addition to supporting accelerated H.264 encode and decode and video processing filters, the new SDK includes enhanced support for Windows 8, Microsoft DirectX 11, fully accelerated MPEG2 encode and MPEG/JPEG decode, and a Windows Store development sample. Use of Intel Media SDK 2013 also includes free licensing and source for integration with Open Source projects and Open CL* video workloads. The SDK is available as a free download intel.com/software/mediasdk

Here is a complete list of the new features for Intel Media SDK 2013:

  • Enhanced support for Microsoft* DirectX 11:
    • Device and surface management using the latest version of DirectX 11
    • Headless and multi-GPU configurations supported
  • Encode Enhancements: Fully accelerated MPEG2 encode, 4k content encoding, and new software-based MJPEG encode
  • Decode Enhancements: Fully accelerated MPEG/JPEG decode and 4K content decoding
  • Videoconferencing Extension: Rolling I-Frame support
  • Video Processing Enhancement: Image stabilization pre-processing filter
  • New Samples and Samples Browser:
    • Windows Store application development sample
    • Samples Browser allows developers to search across samples to quickly integrate code
  • Hardware Acceleration for Intel Atom Processor-based Tablets: Intel Media SDK 2013 now supports basic hardware acceleration on Intel Atom processor-based tablets.
  • Accelerating Code: Using Intel SDK for OpenCL* Applications with Intel® Media SDK: Rich visual computing applications often include a mix of commonly used media processing elements such as H.264 decode and encode as well as new innovative video-processing filters. To facilitate this, Intel Media SDK is interoperable with the Intel SDK for OpenCL* Applications. Intel Media SDK supports media surface sharing extension between OpenCL and DirectX* Video Acceleration (DXVA). When coupled with the Intel SDK for OpenCL Applications, visual computing applications get the added benefit of both hardware-accelerated video encoding, decoding, and transcoding coupled with OpenCL capabilities to utilize both the CPU and Intel HD Graphics on 3rd and 4th generation Intel Core processors. The Intel Media SDK includes sample code to demonstrate this capability.

Q3: What are the benefits to using Intel Media SDK?

A3: Developers using Intel Media SDK no longer have to write separate code paths to tap into platform specific hardware acceleration to improve video performance. The Intel Media SDK features a single API that streamlines workflow and exploits hardware acceleration capabilities within Intel hardware. Additionally, applications integrating Intel Media SDK today will take advantage of hardware acceleration capabilities of future graphics processing solutions without rewriting the program code.

Q4: Is the Intel Media SDK setting the stage for future multi-core products?

A4: Intel Media SDK helps developers produce future-proofed code by using a single API that supports today's hardware as well as well as hardware that will be available in the future. This SDK is available now as a free download at intel.com/software/mediasdk.

Q5: Are there developers currently using Intel Media SDK to optimize their media applications?

A5: Yes, Intel has worked with a number of media application developers in the Alpha and Beta phases leading to this announcement. Developers including ArcSoft*, Corel*, CyberLink*, Sonic*, Sony*, and Sorenson Media* are just a few of the companies using Intel Media SDK.

Q6: What platforms does Intel Media SDK support?

A6: Intel Media SDK supports a broad selection of hardware platforms including those with 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Intel Core processors that have Intel HD Graphics, tablets with Intel Atom processors, codenamed “Clovertrail”. Intel® Media SDK also supports the Windows* 7 and 8 operating systems (32-bit and 64-bit and Windows 8 ModernUI.*

Q7: Does the Intel Media SDK tool work with non-Intel graphics?

A7: The API within the Intel Media SDK is extensible, allowing development teams to create dynamic link libraries (DLL) that support platform-specific implementations, including hardware from third party vendors.

Q8: What is the pricing for the Intel Media SDK?

A8: The Intel Media SDK is available as a free download at intel.com/software/mediasdk and also includes free licensing and source for integration with Open Source projects

Q9: What video CODECs does Intel Media SDK support?

A9: Intel Media SDK 2013 supports the following video CODECs:

  • Video Encoders: H.264, MPEG-2, MJPEG, and MVC for stereoscopic 3D support. MJPEG is software-only.
  • Video Decoders: H.264, MPEG-2, MJPEG/JPEG, VC-1, and MVC.

Q10: Does Intel Media SDK support and or accelerate any video pre-processing features?

A10: Yes, Intel Media SDK accelerates pre and post-processing functions, including: Deinterlacing/Inverse Telecine, Resizing, Color Conversion, Denoising, Frame Rate Conversion, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation Control, Sharpening, Image Stabilization

Q11: How does Intel Media SDK work when no hardware acceleration is available?

A11: When hardware is not present for acceleration of decode or encode, Intel Media SDK will gracefully fall back to using software. This software will function on legacy and non-Intel CPUs.

Q12: Does Intel Media SDK support server workloads or Windows Server?

A12: Intel Media SDK 2013 is not currently designed or optimized for server workloads and is not officially supported by Windows Server*. That being said, several customers actively utilize the Intel Media SDK for this very use case and we will be factoring this customer need into future product plans.

Q13: Is H.264 optimized for transmission latency?

A13: Yes. Since Intel Media SDK 2012, the SDK has been specifically optimized for video editing, transcoding or video playback usages for streaming or video conferencing usage models where latency would be a focus.

Q14: Does the Intel Media SDK support Linux or Mac OS X?

A14: Intel Media SDK currently supports Microsoft Windows 7 and 8. Intel continues to monitor customer feedback and will factor customer needs into future product plans.

Q15: How can I use my own SW library for encoding or decoding instead of using the Intel supplied library?

A15: Replace libmfxsw32.dll or libmfxsw64.dll with your own SW library DLL. Use the same naming, and place into your unique install directory.

Q16: Is Intel Media SDK interoperable with other Intel Tools?

A16: Yes. Intel Media SDK 2013 is interoperable with both Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers and also the Intel SDK for OpenCL Applications. When used with Intel GPA, Intel Media SDK can be used to provide real-time encode, decode metrics for game developers. When used with the Intel SDK for OpenCL Applications, visual computing applications get the added benefit of both hardware-accelerated video encoding, decoding, and transcoding from Intel Media SDK coupled with OpenCL capabilities to utilize both the CPU and Intel HD Graphics on 3rd and 4th generation Intel Core processors. The Intel Media SDK includes sample code for both Intel GPA and Intel SDK for OpenCL Applications

Q17: What Support is Available for Intel Media SDK?

A17: The following are some of the resources available for Intel Media SDK developer support:

  • Intel® Media SDK Developer’s Guide: A detailed Developer Guide to help you get started developing applications quickly and easily with the Intel® Media SDK: http://intel.ly/Ochxzs
  • Intel® Media SDK Samples: Source code samples accompanied by whitepapers to help you get started with Intel® Media: http://intel.ly/NNdeuG
  • Intel® Media SDK Forum: Check out the Intel® Media SDK Forum to get your questions answered at http://intel.ly/QfVDPo
  • Follow Us on Twitter: @IntelMediaSDK

Q18: What about support for mobile devices and operating systems?

A18: Intel Media SDK supports a broad selection of hardware platforms including those with 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Intel Core processors that have Intel HD Graphics, tablets with Intel Atom processors, codenamed “Clovertrail” that run Windows 7 and 8. Android and iOS devices are not currently supported.

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