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Live Video Encoding Using New AWS F1 Acceleration

In today’s mobile world, where live video is rapidly gaining ubiquity in everyday life, NGCodec is leading the charge to overcome the difficulties and sacrifices in quality associated with video encoding using traditional software methods. This white paper discusses the benefits of hardware encoding using Xilinx® FPGA in the new Amazon Web Services (AWS) F1 instances. We open with a background on video encoding and an overview of the encoding process. This is further contextualized with a discussion of the applications of cloud video transcoding and an exploration of the differences between file-based and live video encoding. Following on from this, we explore the limitations of traditional software encoding methods for live video encoding. Having established the drawbacks of relying on CPUs and GPUs, we discuss the superior results that can be obtained through hardware encoding with AWS FPGA F1 instances. Our paper goes on to delve into the methodology behind NGCodec’s FPGA F1 design using the Xilinx Vivado® HLS tool suite and to summarize how we ported our RealityCodecTM H.265/HEVC video encoder to AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) F1 instances in only three weeks. Finally, the paper outlines our roadmap for a new, twofold business model to make hardware encoding with FPGA F1 instances available to customers of all sizes and closes with an opportunity for readers to try out NGCodec’s video encoding capabilities for themselves.

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