Advantech Introduces PCI Express Accelerators for 4Kp60 HEVC Broadcast Video Encoding

Las Vegas, NAB Show, April 12, 2015 – Advantech (TWSE: 2395.TW) today introduced two new PCI Express adapters that enable real-time 4K UltraHD (2160p60) HEVC encoding at up to 20x less power consumption than a software-only solution. By using commercial-off-the-shelf plug-in accelerators, broadcast video equipment manufacturers can easily add the otherwise compute-intensive HEVC encoding task to existing or new server-based applications.

The H.265/HEVC codec is gaining momentum because it reduces bit rates by approximately 50% when compared to an equivalent quality video stream encoded using H.264, enabling more channels or higher resolution video delivery over the same infrastructure. It is particularly relevant for 4K UltraHD transmission which requires a much higher stream capacity. These improvements are achieved at the penalty of much higher computation complexity, with up to 48 server-class processor cores typically required to perform a 4K 60fps software-based broadcast quality HEVC encoding in real time.

Advantech’s new compact plug-in encode accelerators provide OEMs with the technology to accelerate this part of the workflow without otherwise losing capacity or adding more servers, thereby helping them successfully address the challenge of UHDTV encoding in a cost-effective manner.

The first two members of the new product family are the HVC-8700 and the HVC-8701 PCI Express (PCIe) adapters. Both products integrate the latest MB86M31HEVC encoder SoC technology from Socionext Inc., a new company formed from the well-established Fujitsu and Panasonic semiconductor businesses. This new SoC is tailored for professional media processing and is capable of performing professional grade 4Kp60 Main10 profile HEVC encoding at less than 10W power consumption. The HVC-8700 targets file or stream-based encoding workflows in a low profile PCIe adapter format to facilitate the integration of multiple accelerators in a range of servers and appliances. The HVC-8701 adapter additionally features 4K video capture over built-in HDMI 2.0, Display Port 1.2 or 4-ch SDI-3G video inputs for acquisition-based encoding in contribution workflows. Both cards feature a simple-to-use API and example code for FFmpeg and GStreamer multimedia frameworks to streamline product development and their integration into existing applications.

“We are delighted to team up with a well renowned technology partner like Socionext to solve the real problem that video processing equipment manufacturers are facing when dealing with Ultra HD HEVC encoding,” said Brian Carr, Marketing Director, Video Solutions, Advantech. “Our new and unique accelerators will allow OEMs to leverage the differentiating performance of specialized hardware with all the benefits of an off-the-shelf solution.”

“The media industry is demanding sustainable HEVC encoding solutions in order to fully benefit from the new coding scheme efficiency”, said Hiroaki Miyahara, Assistant Vice President, Connected Imaging, Socionext. “By cooperating with a strong technology partner like Advantech we put an integrated encoding solution at its fingertips that follows the principles of the new broadcast video infrastructure, leveraging the universal PCIe adapter form-factor to increase flexibility and reduce operational costs.”

Advantech will be demonstrating the HVC-8700 and HVC-8701 encoder cards at NAB in Las Vegas on April 13-16, 2015 at Advantech booth SU11410 in the Upper South Hall. Engineering samples for both adapters will be available in mid-2015.

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About Advantech - Founded in 1983, Advantech is a leader in providing trusted, innovative products, services, and solutions. Advantech offers comprehensive system integration, hardware, software, customer-centric design services, embedded systems, automation products, and global logistics support. Our mission is to enable an intelligent planet with embedded computing products and solutions that empower the development of smarter working and living. With Advantech, there’s no limit to the applications and innovations our products make possible. 

Advantech's rapidly broadening product portfolio for the media industry provides OEM customers with commercial off the shelf access to a range of new technologies that address processing and interface trends in the industry including HEVC encoding for Ultra HD / 4K and SMPTE 2022 Video over IP. Advantech also offers high-level system integration by leveraging its standard product offerings ranging from a wide selection of chassis, backplanes, single-board computers (SBCs), appliances and servers. These integrated video platforms can be tailored and OEM customized to meet a range of system requirements in terms of functionality, power budget, physical dimensions and cost. Such near-turn-key solutions significantly reduce the time-to-market efforts for our customers to provide optimized platforms to the market.