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Intel beats AMD and Nvidia to become the first with full AV1 support with its new Arc GPUs

Intel Arc launch

Nowadays, the AV1 codec is a big deal as it it is a very efficient, potent, royalty-free video codec that competes with the likes of HEVC (H.265) and AVC (H.264). Companies would often find themselves infringing patents, like it happened very recently with Samsung. As such, streaming and video platforms, including the industry giants like YouTube, and Netflix, among others, have begun to work on integrating AV1 support. Microsoft, too, added support for hardware acceleration of AV1 on Windows two years ago.

With all this happening, Intel has been quick to respond and the company has become the first such GPU hardware vendor to have full AV1 support on its newly launched Arc GPUs. While AMD and Nvidia both offer AV1 decoding with their newest GPUs, neither have support for AV1 encoding.

Intel Arc

Intel says that hardware encoding of AV1 on its new Arc GPUs is 50 times faster than those based on software-only solutions. It also adds that the efficiency of AV1 encode with Arc is 20% better compared to HEVC.

Intel Arc
Intel Arc

With this feature, Intel hopes to potentially capture at least some of the streaming and video editing market that's based on users who are looking for a more robust AV1 encoding solution compared to CPU-based software approaches.

You can read more about Intel Arc here.

Source: Intel Graphics (YouTube)

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