[FFmpeg-devel] GPU Hardware Acceleration [was Re: openCL support]

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Thu Jan 3 13:06:35 CET 2013

On Thu, January 3, 2013 9:59 pm, Andrey Utkin wrote:
> 2012/12/31 Roger Pack <rogerdpack2 at gmail.com>:
>> I wish I had time to implement bindings to
>> https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-codec-libraries (nvcuvenc).  There
>>  "may" be libraries for nvcuvenc for linux, I haven't looked into it
>> too much, but
>>  every so often people that do live streaming using ffmpeg "wish" they
>>  could use their graphics card for encoding, to save on cpu, so it might
>>  be interesting.
> Nvidia H.264 encoding library is not available for linux, only for
> windows.
> There is a commercial multi-platform library leveraging Nvidia GPU
> from MainConcept. BTW it utilizes CPU quite noticeably, still its
> performance figured out to be not interesting in comparsion with
> x264...

Pretty much the same thing with AMD/ATI. They have commercial drivers and
basically a completely proprietary version of ffmpeg that runs on *nix but
they refuse to open source all the code so it can be used by the
opensource community. They see ffmpeg and opensource multimedia in general
as a threat to their proprietary corporate benefactors who have put a lot
of pressure on them not to cooperate with the open source community.

Over here we have discussed it with them for the past year right up to the
top and they have refused to budge. They seem to think that drip feeding
the open source community with poorly documented and badly supported
offerings is acceptable. They even went so far as to ask us to pay them an
annual fee so we could get access to their proprietary source code and

What they fail to see is that open source and Linux in particular
represent the best way for them increase their rapidly diminishing bottom
line. Not only is Linux the most widely used operating system on the
planet so patetntly ridiculous to ignore but If businesses don't have to
spend large sums of money on proprietary licenses they have more money to
invest into their hardware infrastructure. Apparently actually selling
hardware is not a priority for AMD at least. I'm not sure how NVIDIA sees
things but at least they provide ongoing support for legacy hardware
drivers. AMD can't even get that right requiring distribution packagers to
bend over backwards in order to allow their customers to use the hardware
they paid for.

What they don't get is enough people and businesses demanding they support
the open source community. They appear to be content with taking their
cues from Redmond and supporting a few military customers. It shouldn't be
a surprise though seeing as AMD is owned by Mubadala which is also owned
by the Carlyle Group who's main business model is printing money and
taking over petroleum exporting countries.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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