Thursday, May 12, 2011

“Blueberry” VP8 Hardware Encoder IP Released

"Blueberry," the second release of the H1 VP8 hardware encoder, is now available through the WebM Project hardware page. Due to the short growing season and abundant light during the summer, Nordic blueberries are exceptionally sweet and rich with vitamins. The Blueberry encoder is not too bad either!

In Blueberry we focused primarily on improving the encoder for video calling use, as many of the semiconductor companies that have licensed the H1 encoder plan to use it in these use cases. Compared to Anthill, the average measured PSNR improvement was 0.82 dB, while SSIM figures were improved by 0.011. This is also shown in the following chart for 720p video call content, where Blueberry achieves the same quality as Anthill with 25% less bits!

In the next release, we plan to further improve the compression rate at the low bitrate range, as well as focus on new features such as two-pass encoding and visual optimization using segmentation maps. The third release is planned to be available at the end of Q2 2011.

The H1 IP has been licensed already to over twenty semiconductor companies, and we are looking forward to sharing the technology with new partners.

For licensing details about the H1, see our hardware page. For those interested in technical details, please keep reading here.

Aki Kuusela is Engineering Manager of the WebM Project hardware team in Oulu, Finland.

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