All Kepler GPUs also incorporate a new hardware-based H.264 video encoder, NVENC.
Prior to the introduction of Kepler, video encoding on previous GeForce products was handled by encode software running on the GPU’s array of CUDA Cores. While the CUDA Cores were able to deliver tremendous performance speedups compared to CPU-based encoding, one downside of using these high-speed processor cores to process video encoding was increased power consumption.
By using specialized circuitry for H.264 encoding, the NVENC hardware encoder in Kepler is almost four times faster than our previous CUDA-based encoder while consuming much less power.
It is important to note that an application can choose to encode using both NVENC hardware and NVIDIA’s legacy CUDA encoder in parallel, without negatively affecting each other. However, some video pre-processing algorithms may require CUDA, and this will result in reduced performance from the CUDA encoder since the available CUDA Cores will be shared by the encoder and pre-processor.
NVENC provides the following:
Can encode full HD resolution (1080p) videos up to 8x faster than real-time. For example, in high performance mode, encoding of a 16 minute long 1080p, 30 fps video will take approximately 2 minutes.
Support for H.264 Base, Main, and High Profile Level 4.1 (same as Blu-ray standard)
Supports MVC (Multiview Video Coding) for stereoscopic video—an extension of H.264 which is used for Blu-ray 3D.
Up to 4096x4096 encode
We currently expose NVENC through proprietary APIs, and provide an SDK for development using NVENC. Later this year, CUDA developers will also be able to use the high performance NVENC video encoder. For example, you could use the compute engines for video pre-processing and then do the actual H.264 encoding in NVENC. Alternatively, you can choose to improve overall video encoding performance by running simultaneous parallel encoders in CUDA and NVENC, without affecting each other’s performance.
NVENC enables a wide range of new use cases for consumers:
HD videoconferencing on mainstream notebooks
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