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Argos for the Rest of Us – With AV1

We've been shipping ASIC-based transcoders since 2019!

When Google announced the ASIC-based Argos VCU in 2021, the trade press rightfully applauded. CNET announced that “Google supercharges YouTube with a custom video chip.” Ars Technica reported that Argos brought “ up to 20-33x improvements in compute efficiency compared to… running software on traditional servers.” SemiAnalysis reported that  Argos “Replaces 10 Million Intel CPUs.”

Of course, here at NETINT, none of these benefits were particularly surprising. We’ve been shipping ASIC-based transcoders since 2019. And while our transcoders have a different focus than Argos – we do live, they do VOD – we’ve been delivering the same performance improvements and savings to our customers since we started shipping. In fact, In 2021 NETINT customers encoded 200 billion minutes using our ASIC-based transcoding units.

Unlike Argos, you can actually buy Quadra units to “supercharge” your own applications

We’re currently shipping our fifth generation Quadra video processing unit (VPU) technology, which can transcode 1x 8Kp60/4x 4Kp60/16x 1080p60 in real-time. Unlike Argos, Quadra encodes AV1, along with HEVC and H.264. Also, unlike Argos, you can actually buy Quadra units to “supercharge” your own applications. If you only need H.264 and HEVC, check out the T408 for a lower price point. 

The bottom line is that if you’re producing live or interactive events on a large scale, you should check our ASIC-based encoders. While we can’t promise to replace 10 million Intel CPUs, the 20-33x improvement in computing efficiency is right in our wheelhouse.

Netint Codensity, ASIC-based Quadra T2A Video Processing Unit
Figure 1: Elegant, simple, efficient. By utilizing the ubiquitous PCIe 2.5″ U.2 and AIC form factors, Quadra VPUs offer an elegant, simple, yet effective hardware architecture for scaling video encoding and processing in the data center.