The need for High-Definition (HD) 1080p support in MCUs is pushing the limits of today's video processing devices. MCUs, by their nature require a huge amount of encode and decode capability, not to mention other functions for scaling and manipulating the video stream.
Lowest Power Consumption per Stream
The main limiting factor in designing DSP boards for an MCU is power consumption. Octasic solutions provide the lowest power consumption in the industry at less than 2 watts per HD stream.
With power no longer limiting density, a very large number of DSPs can fit on a single blade.
Current solutions use a complicated mix of DSP processors, hardware accelerators, and general purpose CPU cores in order to achieve the performance required for high-end video systems.
Octasic solutions, powered by the most power efficient DSP core in the industry, Opus, are much simpler to program, using only one kind of processor. This reduces the number of software tools required to create and debug code, while simplifying the system design by eliminating the need for multiple steps in a video pipeline, such as managing external hardware acceleration blocks.
Octasic solutions that process video completely in software, allow for very flexible implementations. One of the most important things for video conferencing equipment is compatibility and inter-operability. It is important to be able to make quick fixes to the codec in software.
While H.264 is the new dominant standard, backwards compatibility with video codecs include H.261, H.263, H.263+, and MPEG-4. The solution must also be future-proof to support technologies such as H.264 SVC.
MCUs must be able to support a wide range of resolutions and codecs. In fact, some MCUs are sometimes operated in audio-only configurations. For these reasons, the DSP must be able to offer efficient performance on a small number of HD streams or a large number of audio streams and video streams from SD down to QCIF. Octasic's solutions provide this scalability by providing a multi-core device optimized for video, with scheduling algorithms and the ability to process many different resolutions simultaneously.
Using Serial Rapid IO (SRIO) connections to a switch allows for multi-casting of packets between devices. This high-bandwidth interface can carry 1080p video in raw YUV format between the devices responsible for decode, compositing and encode.