FPGAs use transcoding to reduce bandwidth cost in video streaming: Page 2 of 2

June 25, 2020 //By William G. Wong, Electronic Design
FPGAs use transcoding to reduce bandwidth cost in video streaming
Bandwidth equals cost when it comes to video streaming and transcoding helps solve that problem by reducing bandwidth requirements.

The web-based interface allows for system management without dealing with the FPGA code. Xilinx integrated the Wowza Streaming Engine media server with the Xilinx RT Server Reference Architecture. The system uses the FFmpeg framework that’s compatible with other platforms that utilize CPUs or GPGPUs to handle transcoding chores. The HEVC codec was built from the ground up with emphasis on improved codec control down to the frame level. System integrators can adjust rate control and fine-tune other parameters to improve video streaming quality and bitrate to suit their customer’s needs.

Supporting numerous different streams is important due to the rising level of live broadcasts (Figure 2). Less transcoding is needed if a small number of streams will be watched by many people. At the other extreme is a large number of streams for a small group or an individual.

2. The requirement to support a multitude of streams increases with live broadcasts.
Figure 2: The requirement to support a multitude of streams increases with live broadcasts.

The delivery of an appliance is a big change for Xilinx that started with FPGA chips. These have become more integrated with SoCs like the Zynq, which combine CPUs with FPGA fabrics. The RFSOC family blends high-speed RF support into the mix. The adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) even adds machine-learning acceleration.

It has recently moved into FPGA cards for the data center with the Alveo line, which is the basis for the Xilinx RT Server.

Xilinx


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