Video conferencing systems today have migrated to 1080p resolution, and with the advent of advanced encoding technologies such as H.264 SVC, these systems deliver high quality video at bit-rates that can run on common broadband connections.
The market for enterprise personal videoconferencing units, for example, is set to grow 50 percent per year according to Wainhouse Research.
A Common Platform
When building video conferencing endpoints and MCUs, it’s important to select a platform that offers devices at both ends of the spectrum: low-cost, fully integrated devices for endpoints, and high-end power-efficient devices for MCUs.
With a common development environment, system architecture, and production-grade codec libraries, OEMs can quickly bring to market a broad range of products from a common development flow.
High Performance, Low Power
Octasic solutions are the only general purpose DSPs on the market that can offer HD video stream encoding at less than 2 watts. This low-power is enabled by Octasic’s Opus DSP core.
Such industry-leading low power consumption means that products built with Octasic solutions can run without fans or heat sinks. For video conferencing endpoints this means more silent, robust, resilient products.
For more advanced endpoints, this low power consumption enables more video processing capability. You can now have a powerful internal MCU in your codec, or have 2 HD video streams instead of 1 for presentation sharing.
High-end MCUs have an insatiable thirst for more video processing. These high-end systems use large quantities of DSP devices, connected through high-speed interfaces such as Serial Rapid I/O. These DSPs must decode a large number of streams, mix them, and overlay text and graphics, before compositing the final multi-screen image and performing the final encode.
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+, MPEG-4. The solution must also be future-proof to support technologies such as Scalable Video Coding (H.264 SVC).
According to Wainhouse Research, the overall endpoint market will grow from $1.3 billion in 2007 to over $4.9 billion in 2013. Videoconferencing infrastructure product revenues, including MCUs, gateways, and gatekeepers, are forecast to grow to $725 million during the same time frame. Read article