Intel Ponders WebM Hardware Acceleration for Atom Processors

Intel Ponders WebM Hardware Acceleration for Atom ProcessorsI've mentioned this a couple times now and even tried to start a pool about when Intel would announce WebM support and if they'd do it before Apple. We all knew they would as Apple probably will just try to ignore it all or perhaps start a patent pool to 'go after' WebM and VP8.

Intel has openly stated that they are looking into hardware-based acceleration for WebM. They're only looking at it  for TV chips (based on the Atom processor)  and probably won't do anything about it until WebM gains some more push. However, Intel is just about the last company to announce any kind of support for it (not really but it seems like it).

"Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 & VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders," said Wilfred Martis, general manager for retail consumer electronics at Intel's Digital Home Group.

Just a week prior to the VP8 announcement Google and Intel announced a partnership for Smart TVs (I also wrote that one up) in hopes they could tie together two-screens - online and broadcast. It would of course be based on Android OS and use the Intel Atom (CE4100) processors. Their first big deal with with Sony high-definition TVs and Blu-ray players.

Now that's not to say that these Smart TVs won't be smart enough to utilize WebM. They can still have a software implementation that will do just fine. However, if Intel were to work on hardware-based acceleration things would certainly go more quickly and smoothly and the whole shebang (always wanted to work that word into a ReelSEO article) would use less power while doing it.

The Intel Atom CE4100 is pretty cool already. It boasts speeds up to 1.2GHz and can decode 1080p video streams two at a time (why? I don't know). They say they're already cooking a million unit batch of these puppies up so we might have to wait for the second generation of them to get the WebM hardware acceleration.

Other hardware manufacturers already supporting WebM and VP8 include NVidia, AMD, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Texas Instruments. VP8-capable scientific calculators? How cool would that be?

No sir, I'm not watching the latest Fringe (don't get canceled, don't get canceled...) when I should be graphing that differential function...

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About the Author -
Christophor Rick is a freelance writer specializing in technology, new media, video games, IPTV, online video advertising and consumer electronics. His past work has included press releases, copy-writing, travel writing and journalism. He also writes novel-length and short fiction as part of Three-Faced Media . View All Posts By -

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