At the IBC, Artesyn Embedded Technologies announced the SharpStreamer add-on acceleration card that enables content owners, broadcasters and service provider networks to speed the deployment of high density video transcoding and multiscreen delivery. Using the standard PCI Express form factor, Artesyn’s SharpStreamer offers quick and scalable integration with standard server architectures to meet the demands of service providers and operators who want to use existing servers and cloud infrastructure to support new video transcoding and adaptive bitrate delivery platforms.
Compared with dedicated appliances, SharpStreamer acceleration is more easily deployable and does not constrain broadcasters and operators to dedicated equipment in order to monetize OTT streaming content. It also enables networks to scale as subscriber numbers increase, by adding more cards and density from small to large servers as needed. Compared to software-only solutions, the SharpStreamer add-on card requires a fraction of the server and operational cost to enable video processing services. This latest addition to Artesyn’s add-on video acceleration card portfolio is focused on the high-density and low power demands of video streaming applications such as over-the-top (OTT) streaming servers, mobile network optimization, content delivery networks (CDN), and broadcast secondary distribution.
Linsey Miller, director of marketing for server acceleration, Artesyn Embedded Technologies, said: “Our customers’ desire for achieving video transcoding as a Virtual Network Function (VNF) on standard servers was the impetus behind this product. Broadcast OEMs and service providers can now use off-the-shelf hardware to solve problems that previously could only be solved by costly in-house design or an impossibly large footprint of servers. They can also focus resources on innovating their value-added software, and not hardware, gaining a critical competitive advantage. ”
At IBC 2014, Artesyn’s SharpStreamer card has been built into a demonstration system in booth 14.G17 and in the Intel Corporation booth (14.L20) in conjunction with technology partners Intel and Vantrix. The demonstration shows the capability of the SharpStreamer card to provide dense video processing for 4K UltraHD video as well as multiscreen adaptive bitrate (ABR) delivery to serve multiple end-devices using both H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC codecs in broadcast and wireless service provider networks. To demonstrate the add-on card approach to reach high density on standard servers, Artesyn is demonstrating the SharpStreamer card in a Dell PowerEdge R620 1U server, capable of delivering 36 1080p streams with a single PCI Express card running the Vantrix OTT VOD and Live flexible, software-defined, virtualized media platform.
“Artesyn’s SharpStreamer card is an important milestone for service providers seeking to better monetise OTT video, through higher density software-defined video processing,” said Jean Mayrand, president of Vantrix, “Because Artesyn, together with Vantrix and Intel, have enabled a simple and more flexible way to add video transcoding and multiscreen adaptive bitrate streaming to existing servers.”
“As a partner to OEM and service providers, Artesyn is delivering innovative media solutions for networking platforms,” said Steve Price, general manager of Intel’s Communications Infrastructure Division. “The combination of Artesyn’s SharpStreamer card, the Intel Core i7-4650U Processor with integrated Intel HD graphics 5000, and the Intel Media SDK capability deliver excellent density with the flexibility of familiar x86 ease of use for application developers.”
As with other add-on acceleration cards in the Artesyn portfolio, SharpStreamer is designed for compatibility with servers from Dell and other vendors. A new white paper co-authored by Artesyn, Dell and Intel, titled “Virtual Video Transcoding in the Cloud” is available for download.
Artesyn is targeting the highest H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC transcoding density in the smallest footprint. An Artesyn SharpStreamer card is capable of up to 48 streams of 1080p H.264 transcodes, or 4 streams of 1080p H.265/HEVC transcodes. It uses four Intel Core i7-4650U Processors at 1.7 GHz with Intel HD graphics 5000 Graphics supported by 8 GB memory per processor subsystem in a three-quarter length PCI Express card footprint. The SharpStreamer is equipped with a software development kit comprised of the Intel® Media SDK with Intel HD Graphics’ hardware acceleration, monitoring and processor subsystem operating system and management tools for easy integration with server host processing environments.