March 26, 2015
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) corporation (Head office, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Hiroo Unoura, President and CEO) has developed a real time 4K/60p *1 ultra-high definition video encoder LSI in conformance with H.265/HEVC *2 (hereinafter called HEVC) , the latest international video coding standard.
It is the first ever LSI to comply with the Main 4:2:2 10 profile, which is capable of encoding double density chrominance data and suitable for high quality live broadcast and contribution *3 for professionals. Furthermore, one-chip processing of 4K/60p achieves not only 1/16 footprint reduction compared to the existing implementations, but also 1.5 times higher compression performance compared to the existing HEVC encoder implementations.
In the year 2020, excitement of sports is expected to be shared by many viewers throughout the world, this technology is expected to be utilized in future high resolution image fields such as ultra-high definition video services, public viewing, multi-angle TVs.
The developed technology is being exhibited at NAB 2015, the largest broadcasting technology trade show in the industry, held from April 13 in Las Vegas.
To achieve high quality video transmission and distribution services, NTT labs have developed as below,
The SARA technology has also been adopted in real time transcoders that transcode MPEG-2 to H.264 for IP simulcast services of terrestrial and BS digital TV broadcasting. Both technologies are widely utilized as key components for video transmission services.
Recently, ultra-high definition 4K video services with high realistic sensation have attracted attention. Enormous amount of image pixels, which is eight times larger than the standard HDTV images, is a major problem for full-scale popularization and achievement of real time encoders is craved with higher compression capability for better bandwidth efficiency and compactness for mobile and cost-efficient devices. To meet these demands, NTT labs, with technical strength cultivated by the video codec development over the years, have been involved in the research and development of HEVC-related technologies for achievement of popularization of next generation video transmission services with ultra-high definition 4K images.
Development of 4K HEVC real time encoder LSI for professional use (fig. 1) :
In order to achieve high quality and high compression video services to meet professionals’ demands, NTT labs have developed a new HEVC real time encoder LSI (development code name: NARA [Next-generation Encoder Architecture for Real time HEVC Applications]) with 4K/4:2:2/60p video encoding capability.
New hardware algorithms for intra-frame and inter-frame prediction have been developed, adaptable to HEVC-specific variable block sizes, wide search range and high prediction efficiency is achieved. Multiplexing functions are also included in the LSI, leading to simplified configuration of encoding systems. (fig. 2)
4:2:2 format images for professional use has double the chrominance data density compared to the standard 4:2:0 format for video distribution, having the advantage of avoiding color signal degradation after multiple times of encoding and decoding processes. It is therefore used when multiple times of transmission and editing is anticipated, for example, live event broadcasts. Existing technologies mainly focus on the 4:2:0 format encoding, however, NTT’s technology achieves both HEVC’s true compression performance and 4:2:2 image encoding in real time.
Systems installing this LSI are hereafter under verification process for the upcoming ultra-high definition 4K transmission services, and planned to be launched after fourth quarter of year 2015 from our group businesses.
Also this LSI has an extension interface for multi-chip functions, enabling higher definition image encoding beyond 4K. In the year 2020, excitement of sports is expected to be shared by many viewers throughout the world, this technology is expected to be utilized in future high resolution image fields such as ultra-high definition video services, public viewing, multi-angle TVs.
NTT Service Innovation Laboratory Group
Planning Department Public Relations
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