Microsoft will support hardware-accelerated AV1 codec in latest Windows 10 systems

Back in 2015, numerous companies including Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Amzon, Cisco, Intel, and Mozilla joined forces to form the "Alliance for Open Media" (AOM) in a bid to create open source media formats and technologies. In 2018, the consortium released the AV1 video coding format, which Netflix also began supporting in its Android mobile app earlier this year.

Now, Microsoft has stated that with the next generation of hardware being made available shortly, it will also begin supporting AV1 on Windows 10 devices.

AV1 offers 50% better compression than H.264 and 20% better than VP9. Microsoft also states that since AV1 is hardware-accelerated rather than being dependent upon software, it also reduces battery usage on mobile devices.

As such, the company will be rolling out support for AV1 on new Windows 10 devices with the latest GPUs this fall. The requirements for this new codec are as follows:

  • One of these new GPUs or CPUs:
    • 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe Graphics
    • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs
    • AMD Radeon™ RX 6000 Series Graphics (coming soon)
  • Windows 10 build 1909 or later
  • The AV1 Video Extension
  • A web browser or other application with hardware acceleration support for AV1, including apps built on top of Media Foundation
  • As is common with new features like this, you may need to update your graphics driver from time to time to get the latest features and improvements.

You can find out more about AV1 by visiting AOM's dedicated webpage here.

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