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

Don Moir donmoir at comcast.net
Fri Jan 4 03:41:58 CET 2013

----- 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 6:10 PM
Subject: Re: [FFmpeg-devel] GPU Hardware Acceleration [was Re: openCL support]

> 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.

Thank you for your perspective Patrick.

I suppose when I can walk down the street and find most end users use Linux OS/GUI instead of Windows, Apple, or Android,  I will 
know it has arrived. It would be great to have an os that dominated mobile and end user desktop. So far though when I use Ubuntu, I 
feel like I take a step back many years in time. This is of course just about Ubuntu and my experience with it and nothing to do 
with linux proper. If I knew of a better distro I would probably be using it and just maybe it already exist and I have just not 
seen it. 

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