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MediaTek's Pentonic 2000 is World's first TV SoC with H.266 support

With ever increasing computational needs from TV SoCs, as we're moving towards higher resolutions and refresh rates, MediaTek is getting ready for the next generation of 8K TVs with its new Pentonic 2000 SoC. This is the world's first TV SoC to support the new H.266 video codec standard, which is an evolution of the H.265 intended for 8K content.

The Pentonic 2000 is fabbed using TSMC's N7 node and it's the first commercial TV SoC to be made on this manufacturing process according to MediaTek. The SoC supports 8K resolution content at up to 120 Hz with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) and has an integrated AI engine to help improve scaling from lower resolutions. MediaTek also claims that the Pentonic 2000 features the "industry's most powerful CPU and GPU" in a smart TV SoC, without giving away any actual details, although it the SoC does support UFS 3.1 storage, which suggests that we're looking at a recent Arm Cortex-A7x based SoC at the very least.

EIZO Releases Rugged XMC GPGPU Card for Media Applications

EIZO Rugged Solutions Inc., a provider of ruggedized graphics and video products, has released the Condor NVP2009AxX - an XMC graphics and GPGPU card that supports various combinations of analog and digital outputs.

The new high-performance graphics card based on the NVIDIA Quadro P2000 GPU (chip-down GP107) supports four field customizable video output combinations of DisplayPort++, 3G-SDI, CVBS (NTSC/PAL/SECAM), and VGA (STANAG 3350, RS-170, RS-343) to provide flexibility and simplify inventory management for high-end surveillance customers. With multiple I/O configurations, the card can support a range of video resolutions up to 4K and custom resolutions under VGA configurations. It can be factory configured to customer specifications and/or field programmed to support complex, multi-video needs after deployment.

QNAP Join Forces with CAYIN to Release MediaSign Player, Adding HEIF/HEVC Support to NAS Servers

QNAP Systems, Inc., a leading computing, networking and storage solution innovator, today announced that QNAP NAS now supports CAYIN MediaSign Player. Developed by QNAP's strategic partner CAYIN Technology, MediaSign Player increases the multimedia capabilities of QNAP NAS, and can be downloaded from the QTS App Center. Licenses for MediaSign Player can be purchased from the QNAP Software Store to add support for HEIF/ HEVC file formats and video transcoding.

HEIF/ HEVC formats are the current mainstream image and video formats on mobile devices and feature better compression than standard JPEG and H.264 formats. QNAP users can upload their mobile photos/videos in HEIF/ HEVC formats to their NAS and directly view them, or transcode HEVC files to MP4 (H.264) to directly play them using CAYIN MediaSign Player's Plus license plan. QNAP NAS also provides a range of other multimedia apps (including Video Station, File Station and QuMagie) to enjoy photos, music, and videos.

Xilinx Announces Real-Time Server Appliances for High-Quality, Low-Cost Live Video Streaming

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today introduced two real-time computing video appliances for easy-to-scale, ultra-high-density video transcoding applications. Based on the new Xilinx Real-Time (RT) Server reference architecture, these new appliances will enable service providers delivering applications such as eSports and game streaming platforms, social and video conferencing, live distance learning, telemedicine and live broadcast video to optimize video quality and bitrate at the lowest cost per channel for significant TCO savings over both software-based and fixed-architecture approaches.

Designed for edge and on-premise compute-intensive workloads where video channel density, throughput and latency are critical requirements, the new Xilinx Real-Time Video Appliances feature optimized hardware architectures and software to deliver the industry's highest channel density and lowest latency performance. The appliances are available in two pre-configured options integrating Xilinx Alveo data center accelerator cards - the High Channel Density Video Appliance and the Ultra-Low Bitrate Video Appliance.
Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance Xilinx Real-Time Video Server Appliance

Adobe Premiere Pro to Get More GPU Acceleration and Optimization

Adobe is releasing an important feature update to Premiere Pro later this week, which promises to introduce significant improvements to video encoding performance by better leveraging GPU acceleration. The new version 14.2 of Premiere Pro will leverage NVENC to boost encoding by over 5 times compared to CPU. The suite leveraged shaders to accelerate video effects and improving export times, but until now hadn't leveraged NVIDIA's hardware encoder. For machines with GeForce and Quadro GPUs, this means improved export times on H.264, H.265, and HEVC codecs. Without getting into specifics, Adobe mentioned that Premiere Pro will tap into video hardware acceleration capabilities of AMD Radeon GPUs, too.

Update 07:55 UTC: Adobe posted release notes of the latest version 14.2 of Premiere Pro. The list of system requirements needed for hardware-accelerated H.264 and HEVC encoding appears vague beyond pointing out that you need a compatible graphics solution. The list of compatible GPUs includes a wide selection of NVIDIA GPUs covering both its professional Quadro and consumer GeForce brands. On the AMD front, however, only the professional Radeon Pro SKUs are listed, and no consumer Radeon RX series SKUs.

BIOSTAR Launches the Newest AMD Radeon RX5700XT and RX5700 Graphics Cards

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, welcomes the arrival of PCI Express 4.0 with the AMD Radeon RX5700-series of graphics cards, the world's first graphics cards to support the 4th generation PCI Express interface. BIOSTAR is proudly launching its first Radeon RX5700-series cards, namely the Radeon RX5700XT and Radeon RX5700. Beyond gaining twice the PCI-E bandwidth compared to previous generations of graphics cards, the Radeon RX5700-series also features the first mass market 7nm GPU. It's also AMD's first GPU based on their brand new RDNA architecture. Another first is support for GDDR6 memory, which offers twice the peak bandwidth compared to GDDR5.

AMD's RDNA architecture is a completely new GPU design that brings a wide range of new features to the Radeon RX5700-series, such as a streamlined graphics pipeline, a brand new compute unit design and a multilevel cache hierarchy. Together, things bring a 50% performance per Watt advantage over AMD's previous GCN architecture.

AMD Navi Radeon Display Engine and Multimedia Engine Detailed

Two of the often overlooked components of a new graphics architecture are the I/O and multimedia capabilities. With its Radeon RX 5700-series "Navi 10" graphics processor, AMD gave the two their first major update in over two years, with the new Radeon Display Engine, and Radeon Multimedia Engine. The Display Engine is a hardware component that handles the graphics card's physical display I/O. The Radeon Multimedia Engine is a set of fixed-function hardware that provides CODEC-specific acceleration to offload your CPU.

The Navi Radeon Display Engine features an updated DisplayPort 1.4 HDR implementation that's capable of handling 8K displays at 60 Hz with a single cable. It can also handle 4K UHD at 240 Hz with a single cable. These also include HDR and 10-bit color. It achieves this by implementing DSC 1.2a (Display Stream Compression). The display controller also supports 30 bpp internal color-depth. The HDMI implementation remains HDMI 2.0. The multi-plane overlay protocol (MPO) implementation now supports a low-power mode. This should, in theory, reduce the GPU's power draw when idling or playing back video.

AMD Announces the Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC Series

At the Taiwan Embedded Forum, AMD announced the Ryzen embedded product family is growing with the new AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. Building upon the success of the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC provides embedded customers with dual core, quad-threaded performance, as well as the ability to run fanless, low power solutions for 4K displays; while providing leading-edge security features. The AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 is perfect for applications in digital displays, high-performance edge computing, networking, thin clients and more.

Customers like Advantech, ASRock Industrial, IBASE, Netronome, Quixant and others are already working on Ryzen Embedded R1000-based products. As well, Atari© is using the high-performance Vega 3 graphics and 'Zen' CPU architecture in the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC to power the upcoming Atari VCS game system.

YouTube Begins Beta-testing AV1 CODEC on Beta Web-browsers

YouTube began posting its first test videos that implement the AV1 video CODEC, which aims to significantly reduce video stream bandwidths without sacrificing quality, exceeding the compression standards set by even HEVC. AV1 provides an architecture for both moving and still images, and Google, which is partly funding its development, foresees a future in which it replaces entrenched standards such as JPEG and H.264. Besides better compression, its key USP is its royalty-free license, which could translate to tangible operating-cost savings for YouTube and other video streaming services.

YouTube developers posted this playlist with a selection of videos that are encoded in AV1. You may not notice a reduction in your data consumption just yet, because the first batch of videos have been encoded at a very high bitrate to test performance. Future playlists (which will pop up on YouTube Developers channel), could test the CODEC's other more important aspects, such as data savings. To watch them, and test YouTube's AV1 player for them, you'll either need Chrome 70 beta or the latest nightly-build of Firefox (64.0a1), which pack AV1 support.

QNAP Launches the TS-253Be and TS-453Be NAS with M.2 SSD and 10GbE Expandability

QNAP Systems, Inc. today unveiled the quad-core Intel-based 2-bay TS-253Be and 4-bay TS-453Be. With a PCIe expansion slot, the functionality of both NAS can be expanded to meet application needs, including M.2 SSD caching and 10GbE connectivity. The TS-x53Be also features HDMI output and 4K H.264/H.265 transcoding to provide a greater multimedia experience while its snapshots function helps protect data against potential ransomware threats.

"With the PCIe slot, the TS-x53Be series allows for extending NAS functionalities, including adding SSD caching and 10GbE connectivity, which provides great long-term potential for the NAS," said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP. "For users who require a professional storage that can help streamline workflows and provide a great multimedia experience, the TS-x53Be series is the ideal choice with a reasonable price," Hsu added.

AMD Announces New Radeon Embedded GPUs

AMD today announced the AMD Embedded Radeon E9170 Series graphics processing unit (GPU). The new processor is the first "Polaris" architecture-based AMD Embedded discrete GPU available in multi-chip module (MCM) format with integrated memory for smaller, power-efficient custom designs, as well as PCI Express and MXM formats for standard form factor systems. The E9170 Series GPU is ideal for devices that require premium graphics and expanded display capabilities while meeting exacting power and thermal efficiency demands. AMD is extending its core graphics technology, delivering crystal clear resolution and a stunning and seamless 4K experience across multiple displays to a growing number of markets, including digital casino games, thin clients, medical displays, retail and digital signage, and industrial systems.

The AMD Embedded Radeon E9173 GPU, based on the "Polaris" architecture, leverages an optimized 14nm FinFET manufacturing process to provide up to 3X the performance-per-watt over previous generations of AMD Embedded GPUsi. By offering sub-40W TDP in a small package, AMD enables a broader range of products, adding a new level of scalability to the AMD Radeon Power-Efficient Embedded GPU portfolio. With support for up to five simultaneous 4K displaysii, the E9170 Series GPU virtually eliminates the need for additional processors and duplicate hardware to create an immersive multimedia environment. Additionally, the option to select from MCM, MXM and PCI Express modules increases design flexibility while minimizing complexity.

Synology Unveils New XS, Plus, and Value Series NAS

ynology Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring: XS-series DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and M.2 SATA SSD supports; Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Greater performance and data resiliency for intensive workloads; and Value-series DS418: Introduction of 4K online transcoding capability.

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding.

macOS High Sierra Delivers Advanced Technologies for Storage, Video & Graphics

Apple today previewed macOS High Sierra, the latest version of the world's most advanced desktop operating system, delivering new core storage, video and graphics technologies that pave the way for future innovation on the Mac. macOS High Sierra offers an all-new file system, support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple's advanced graphics technology that powers everything from machine learning to virtual reality content creation. macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy every day, including Photos, Safari and Mail.

"macOS High Sierra delivers important forward-looking technologies and new opportunities for developers wanting to tap into the power of machine learning and create immersive VR content on the Mac," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "The core technology innovations in macOS High Sierra, combined with our advances in hardware, will continue to push the Mac forward in exciting new ways."
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