While we have become desensitized to frequent change and rapid innovation in technology, one 40-year-old trend we’ve also grown accustomed to -- some might say taken for granted -- is hitting a wall: ever-increasing CPU clock rates. To get around this, hardware companies like Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA are putting more cores on every chip -- but to take advantage of all these cores, the industry must solve significant parallel programming problems. Elemental’s solution to this challenge has been to hire engineers who fundamentally understand the underlying parallel hardware architectures of the chips they are programming.
This is a trend we expect to permeate the software industry over the next few decades; read more in Elemental's guest post today on Fortune's Brainstorm Blog.
Tomorrow, the trade show floor opens for the International Broadcaster’s Conference (the European version of NAB), otherwise known as IBC. While IBC and NAB may have much in common (meccas for online and broadcast content leaders and notorious “sin” cities), there are four significant contextual differences that inspire innovative companies to trek 4,986 miles across the Atlantic for a week in Amsterdam.
- Broadband outpaces US: While they’re no South Korea, European nations host some of the fastest and most comprehensive Internet connections in the world. The Netherlands ranks as sixth fastest broadband connection and second in the world for broadband penetration.
- Streaming early adopters: Europe is ahead of the curve in embracing streaming media, including exponential growth in Internet streaming technology, voice-over-internet (VOIP) and broadcast streaming of television content.
- Prominent event live streaming: In 2009, premier European sporting events delighted worldwide viewers with live streaming of the French Open, Wimbledon, Tour de France, and Italian FIFA Confederations Cup soccer matches.
- More HD viewing online: European Union policies, such as the recent upgraded broadband connection spectrum for unlicensed commercial use, support consumer demand for high definition Internet viewing through services like Hulu’s European cousin BBC iplayer.
While America may be slower than Europe on the online video uptake, such as broadband deployment and connection speed, some of us are blazing ahead with faster video content delivery by harnessing the massively parallel graphic processing units (GPUs).
Elemental will be demonstrating its GPU-acclerated product suite at IBC 2009 (Sept. 11-15) in Hall 7, booth H37, featuring:
Elemental Server: an enterprise-class video processing system soon to be deployed. Watch the product tour to learn about features to enhance transcoding throughput, video quality and price/performance.
Technology Preview: a new addition to Elemental’s product suite in development for video streaming.
The latest release of Elemental Accelerator gets high marks from High Definition for PC (HD4PC) in a review posted on September 1st, 2009. The author highlights the peformance gains available with GPU-accelerated MPEG-2 encoding:
"My 3Ghz 8-Core workstation can already encode my HD timelines to MPEG2 for DVD faster than realtime, but with the Elemental Accelerator, I was able to cut the time for a two minute export from 1:27 to 30 seconds. On a two hour clip, that would be a thirty minutes instead of an hour and a half."
The peformance boost Elemental Accelerator brings to mobile platforms is also called out:
"...the GPU can accelerate the processing intensive AVCHD decode, as well as the MPEG2 or H.264 encode...If you frequently make these types of exports from a laptop with a Quadro GPU, this plugin will be worth it."
You can read the full review here.