Ittiam HEVC Decoder To Provide H.265 Video Decoding for Existing ARM Cortex-A Devices

H.264 is now the favorite codec for many applications, and all ARM SoC providing multimedia capabilities support it. However, a new codec called H.265 (aka HEVC) is coming with twice the compression ratio with the same quality saving a lot of money for those who have to pay for the bandwidth. The transition between video codecs is normally a slow process, but as it happens you may wonder if you’ll be able to play H.265 videos on your existing ARM Cortex A9/A15 devices which do not support H.265 hardware video decoding. The answer appears to be “Yes You Can!”, as Ittiam Systems announced an HEVC decoder specifically designed for ARM Cortex A processors.

More specifically their software decoder will support:

  • ARMv7 Cores with NEON –  Cortex A8, Cortex A5, Cortex A9, Cortex A15, Cortex A7 and the multi core variants
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064/MPQ8064 , MSM8960

Ittiam HEVC decoder mainly targets devices such as set-top boxes, Internet enabled TVs, smart TVs etc… It should also work on your smartphones and tablets, but video software decoding could deplete your battery rapidly.

There’s currently no performance data, but the maximum resolution / bitrate should be heavily dependent on the CPU processing power of your device. Ittiam is also working on an improved version with OpenCL support, and a DSP based implementations of Ittiam’s HEVC Encoder will be available later in the year.

Very little information currently available, but further details will probably be added to Ittiam HEVC Platforms Solutions page.

Via Design Reuse

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6 Replies to “Ittiam HEVC Decoder To Provide H.265 Video Decoding for Existing ARM Cortex-A Devices”

  1. 1080p decoding of HEVC, albeit on more foregiving bitrates (as CABAC parsing is a serious bottleneck), was already possible on a single core of a cortex A9 clocked at 1.3GHz (most probably the well-endowed A6 from Apple). See this contribution from 5 months ago:

    I don’t expect 4Kx2K to be sustainable, but higher bitrate sequences should be managable by having 2 threads, e.g. using 2 slices per image.

  2. Most impotent information
    Decoder is OpenCL based.
    All SOCs without H265 hw decoder will be capable with OpenCL if the SOC support OpenCL for example Samsung Exynos

  3. @m][sko
    I understand there are different versions of the decoder. The one mentioned in this post does use OpenCL, but the next version will, and as you rightly pointed out, this will improve H.265 video decoding in processor supporting OpenCL such as Exynos 5 and Freescale i.MX6 Quad.

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