Video Processing Doesn’t Have To Kill the Data Center

When it comes to video streaming, a hard problem keeps getting harder. Files are growing in size and complexity, the numbers of people streaming videos are multiplying, and end-user viewing devices are evolving rapidly. Video is on the verge of overrunning the data centers of many service providers.

Let’s pause to consider a few relevant statistics. New 4K media streaming formats come with an unfathomable 8 million pixels per frame. In just five years, video will consume 80 percent of the world’s Internet bandwidth, and already Netflix alone accounts for a third of Internet traffic at peak hours.

As I noted in an earlier post on Optimizing Media Delivery in the Cloud, video delivery is becoming an ever-more complex proposition for the service providers who deliver content to end-user devices. Device types are proliferating, and video files come with more pixels, more frames per second, and more colors for every pixel. This all adds up to a heavier load for video streamers.

To help address this challenge, Intel is working with the ecosystem to deliver products that accelerate the delivery of high-quality video via faster transcoding and file compression. This week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, we’re demonstrating one of these new products—a soon-to-be-launched Intel media processing card that supports the development of faster media processing solutions based on technologies like high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) and advanced video coding (AVC).

This new video processing card, code-named Valley Vista, is designed to accelerate high-end media transcoding in a standard Intel® Xeon® Processor E5 server. This means that applications that use these technologies can now run in many of the most common server platforms in the industry. More specific details will be announced later this year, when the card is formally launched.

We expect Valley Vista to be popular with software developers who want to capitalize on leading-edge media processing technologies for the cloud. Developers are going to need the kind of capabilities Valley Vista will deliver to stay ahead of the explosive demands of the era of video streaming and to differentiate their media solutions. These aren’t nice-to-have capabilities. These are capabilities that are essential to success in a time when video processing threatens to overrun the data center.

If you’re attending IDF this week, you can get a close-up look at the Valley Vista card in a demo offered in the Intel® Data Center and Software Defined Infrastructure Community, booth 288. Or for a deep dive into the topic of optimizing video processing and delivery with Intel® Xeon® processor solutions, sign up for Session DCWS003.

Of course, you don’t have to be at IDF to stay in the loop on Intel news that emerges at the conference. To get the latest updates, just follow @IntelITCenter and join the #IDF15 conversation on Twitter. You can follow me directly @jimblakley.

(1) The Washington Post. “In 5 years, 80 percent of the whole Internet will be online video.” May 27, 2015.