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"Igalia’s work advances both drivers and conformance tests"

On December 19, as an early Christmas present, Khronos announced the availability of the new Vulkan Video extensions to accelerate H.264 and H.265 encoding. The Vulkan Video extensions provide a multiplatform abstraction and allow applications to leverage the hardware encoders and decoders present in many graphics cards and systems-on-a-chip to efficiently play or author content.

As part of our collaboration with Valve, Igalia has been involved in several areas of a wonderful team effort to reach this milestone. Our efforts will continue while bugs are fixed, rough edges are ironed out and new extensions are prepared for other codecs.

Releasing these extensions would have been impossible without the work of Igalia’s Charles Turner who, together with engineers from Cognizant at Khronos, has been working tirelessly to improve Vulkan Video tests in the Vulkan Conformance Test Suite, ensuring different drivers work according to the specification and meet desired quality goals. One of those drivers is Mesa’s ANV driver for Intel GPUs, which has been the focus of our colleague Hyunjun Ko.

These video extensions are very detailed and low-level, designed to be used by codec experts. Applications can easily take advantage of Vulkan Video by using a higher-level library like FFmpeg or GStreamer. In the latter, Stéphane Cerveau has been working on providing Vulkan Video encode support with help from Víctor Jáquez. You can read more about this journey in Stéphane’s blog.

If you want to know more, come meet us at Vulkanised 2024 in February. We will be there to discuss many things Vulkan, including Vulkan Video.