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

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Fri Jan 4 00:10:24 CET 2013

On Fri, January 4, 2013 9:34 am, Don Moir wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Patrick Shirkey" <pshirkey at boosthardware.com>
> To: "FFmpeg development discussions and patches" <ffmpeg-devel at ffmpeg.org>
> Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 4:48 PM
> Subject: Re: [FFmpeg-devel] GPU Hardware Acceleration [was Re: openCL
> support]
>> On Fri, January 4, 2013 8:34 am, Don Moir wrote:
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Patrick Shirkey" <pshirkey at boosthardware.com>
>>> To: "FFmpeg development discussions and patches"
>>> <ffmpeg-devel at ffmpeg.org>
>>> Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2013 3:32 PM
>>> Subject: Re: [FFmpeg-devel] GPU Hardware Acceleration [was Re: openCL
>>> support]
>>>> On Fri, January 4, 2013 2:47 am, compn wrote:
>>>>> On Thu, 3 Jan 2013 23:06:35 +1100 (EST), Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>>>>>>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
>>>>> they are distributing actual ffmpeg? i like to keep a list of big
>>>>> companies that use the project.
>>>> AMD has an equivalent proprietary codebase to ffmpeg that they provide
>>>> to
>>>> their big corporate customers with fully realised GPU support. They
>>>> might
>>>> occasionally release code snippets from this library to the open
>>>> source
>>>> world but most of the work that has been done is kept completely
>>>> private
>>>> and it costs several thousand dollars a year to get close to it. In
>>>> addition they are sponsoring the development of an effective rewrite
>>>> of
>>>> Blender in python no less as a proprietary Linux solution. They even
>>>> suggested that we reverse engineer the codebase from the fake blender
>>>> app
>>>> so we could get access to latest GPU features.
>>>> After discussing with their Head of Multimedia Technology and their
>>>> CTO
>>>> Mark Papermaster (ex. Apple) among several other representatives the
>>>> only
>>>> conclusion is they are not interested in fully supporting open source
>>>> solutions even when they are the best tools in the world and are being
>>>> treated with kiddie gloves all the way through the process.
>>>>>>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.
>>>>> many users would be happy to have binary encoding support even.
>>>>>>Over here we have discussed it with them for the past year right up
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> the
>>>>> Thank you for trying.
>>>> Still trying but it might require AMD going bankrupt first before they
>>>> will embrace open source multimedia solutions as a viable market for
>>>> their
>>>> hardware. They might also have to fire the entire marketing department
>>>> and
>>>> management team to get rid of the people in the pocket of third party
>>>> interests who are holding up the development progress.
>>>> Still there is a little hope that ARM will convince them to be more
>>>> supportive as part of the HSA platform makeover if it actually gets
>>>> off
>>>> the ground.
>>>>>>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
>>>>> i think amd/ati's problems go deeper than just linux support.
>>>>> probably
>>>>> more into forgetting to have competitive research teams working on
>>>>> the
>>>>> next big thing, like lower-watt multicore gpu.
>>>> AMD have a problem with focusing too much attention on the ever
>>>> dwindling
>>>> PC gamer market instead of the needs of small/medium businesses. They
>>>> just
>>>> don't get open source development. It's so bad that developers from
>>>> Intel
>>>> are writing the open source Linux drivers for the ATI chipsets in
>>>> their
>>>> spare time and AMD just laid off their entire Linux Kernel Team in
>>>> Dresden
>>>> to cut costs.
>>>> What kind of moron lets go of the only option they have for making
>>>> progress on the Linux/OpenSource platform in order to cut costs while
>>>> also
>>>> putting all their eggs into Redmonds basket of ever dwindling market
>>>> share?
>>> Where are you guys getting your market share numbers from ?
>>> http://www.google.com/search?q=windows+linux+mac+market+share&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=RfjlUO_zCI6E8ATGh4Ew&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=735
>> In the real world Linux is the dominant operating system on servers,
>> mobile devices and embedded systems. Total proportion of Desktop share
>> is
>> growing with the transition to mobile devices by the majority of users
>> taking a huge chunk out of M$ desktop pie which is consistently
>> declining.
>> With companies like Steam porting to Linux native and Ubuntu directly
>> targeting the ARM platform the continuing rise of Linux and open source
>> solutions in total market share is a foregone conclusion.
> Linux is fine on its own but to me Ubuntu is weak as an end user desktop
> platform. I would expect that an OS/GUI that expects to
> dominate would take this into consideration.

It's not Ubuntu that is driving Linux desktop market share. It's the fact
that the native Linux desktop has arrived on multitouch hardware this
year.  Specifically with ARM and intel Atom support. Ubuntu spend some
cash on marketing so they get in the news. However all the Linux distros
can now run on mobile and multitouch hardware ootb. Linux is not expecting
to dominate. It is dominating. The overall OS/GUI infrastructure of Linux
native has become superior to iOS, Android, win8, blackberry, Palm and
they know it.

Overall desktop share is a small proportion of the global market for
computer operating systems. Linux is definitely king across the entire
computing hardware space.

I should also mention that most of the major movie studios run Linux
systems for their high performance rendering clusters. Linux and open
source tools for multimedia production are a big deal. Fully modular and
infinitely extendable hardware systems can be built for a fraction of the
cost of proprietary solutions. My conclusion after discussing the options
with AMD representatives directly for over a year is that AMD doesn't see
the value of open source in the multimedia production pipeline.  Actually
they perceive it as a threat to their main financial benefactors so
actively resist supporting open source projects and attempt to stall
progress as much as possible. It must be because multimedia is one of the
last domains that is being dominated by Apple and Microsoft proprietary
solution providers. The kickbacks from those companies must be generous
for AMD to not want to be successful in the open source multimedia space.

It seems they have calculated that they can earn more money by resisting
open source multimedia for as long as possible than by embracing it and
increasing their income through hardware sales. Probably because it would
mean they actually have to work for their money and provide decent
hardware solutions to their customers. It is no doubt a lot easier to take
slush money and hang out at tech expos promoting win8 than to actually
support open source customers and participate in the growth of the open
source multimedia community.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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