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asic based video encoding

ASICs-based encoding: Building a greener tomorrow through reduced carbon footprint

As moves to ASICs-based video encoding, learn how it is beneficial for you, why we made the move, and more.

Arushi Gupta,

Emilien Gobillot

September 19, 2023

In today's world, where environmental responsibility is important, businesses are re-evaluating their impact on the planet. Sustainable practices are not just a choice; they're a responsibility. When it comes to video encoding, a crucial aspect of content delivery in our digital age, there's a technology that aligns perfectly with this responsibility - ASICs. These Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) not only promise more efficient video encoding but also contribute majorly to a lower carbon footprint.


That’s why, has gone forward and switched from CPU based encoding to ASICs based encoding.


This blog is intended to tell you more about this switch.

The rise of ASICs in the video industry

In the past few years, the internet's growth sparked a rise in digital video demand. As platforms like YouTube and Netflix rose, companies leaned more toward CPU-based encoding due to its versatility. However, as streaming services gained popularity, CPU encoding's limitations started getting noticed.


Video encoding relying on CPU power is no longer a sustainable approach, as superior alternatives are now available that come without any compromises. A great example of this is Google. Google has developed its own Video Processing Unit (VPU) known as Argos – a groundbreaking innovation. Through the integration of these VPUs, Google has significantly amplified transcoding capabilities per server, cut down operational expenses, reduced electricity consumption, and ultimately improved the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Following in Google's footsteps, Meta has also embraced this transformation.


What does this mean? It simply means that ASICs reduces the resource consumption of video encoding (see graph below) and that’s why companies are adopting it.

video encoding

Graph showing that ASICs reduces the resource consumption of video encoding

Now what is the secret behind these VPUs that are replacing CPUs? VPUs are, in fact, ASICs-based chips specifically engineered for a singular purpose: decoding and encoding video frames. They support various codecs such as h.264, vp9, and AV1, among others.


Their power consumption is lower than that of CPUs, and their capacity is substantially greater. Consequently, you can expect VPUs to reduce electricity consumption by 10x to 100x, depending on the codec and the specific VPU in use.


The best part is that the quality of the video output in VPUs matches that of CPU encoding. (We will delve into the technical details in an upcoming blog post.)

What made us start ASIC based encoding at

  • ASICs also known as VPU (Video Processing Unit) are one order of magnitude more power efficient than CPU based transcoding.


  • Using dedicated hardware allows us to increase the density which in turn reduces our environmental footprint. As a corollary, it increases our transcoding capacity.


  • Specialised hardware helps improve the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). When we increase the capacity and density of a server, there is a fewer requirement of servers and less rack space. So it reduces capital expenditure and operational expenditure.

What does this mean for you as a customer

In today's environmentally conscious world, the impact of technology on our carbon footprint is a growing concern. This is where ASIC becomes a game-changer.


But, you might wonder, what can you, as a customer, gain from embracing ASICs technology?


  • First and foremost, ASIC brings sustainability to the forefront. By significantly reducing energy consumption compared to generic hardware, ASIC chips align perfectly with your green initiatives. Your carbon footprint shrinks, making a substantial contribution to a better environment.


  • Secondly, you get encoding at ZERO cost with Yes, it is because of ASICs that we are able to reduce our TCO and offer you video encoding at no cost. This means that if you choose for video streaming, you save on the cost of encoding completely.


  • Thirdly, ASIC's efficiency translates to faster video processing. This means that with ASIC’s optimized infrastructure, your complex videos are encoded faster.

Stepping into a greener future with ASICs

To create the environmentally responsible future we desire, changes in video encoding and distribution are imperative. ASICs-powered encoders represent a breakthrough, offering enhanced density, performance, and cost-efficiency. These advancements will ensure video applications to scale economically while significantly reducing their environmental footprint.


With this initiative, let us pledge to make a greener and a better environment around us!


Sign-up with today or talk to our team for more information.

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