Digital video has emerged as one of the hottest markets for DSPs and other types of processors. As a result, many processors now target digital video applications. However, not every processor is up to the challenge. Digital video applications have heavy computation and memory-bandwidth loads, so it’s critical to choose a processor that can handle those demands. For this reason, system and SoC designers who are evaluating processors for digital video applications are strongly motivated to obtain credible video-oriented performance data.
Unfortunately, because it is difficult and time-consuming to implement and optimize digital video algorithms, there may be little performance data available for new processors. And even when vendors publish video performance results for their processors, there is little consistency on the exact algorithm being implemented, which can make it difficult to compare results across vendors. In addition, key conditions and assumptions are not standardized and are often not reported. These details may include the quality of the video output, the type of video content being processed, and the type of external memory used.
As a result of these factors, it can be nearly impossible to assess how a processor will perform in a target application. This is a problem not only for processor buyers, but also for processor vendors, who need to understand how their products compare to the competition, and to provide their customers with credible video performance data for their processors.
Several years ago, a major processor vendor recognized the growing importance of digital video to its customers and knew that it needed to provide them with relevant benchmark data. To meet these needs, the vendor developed and implemented its own video benchmark suite. Over time, however, the vendor found that maintaining the suite was costly, comparable results for competitor processors were not available, and customers were skeptical of the benchmarks since they were not independently developed or verified. After evaluating BDTI’s licensable Video Benchmark suite, the processor vendor decided to abandon its in-house video benchmarks and adopt BDTI’s. The vendor obtained a multi-year, company-wide license to the BDTI Video Benchmarks, enabling it to implement the benchmarks on any of its processors. As a result, the processor vendor will be able to offer credible performance data to its customers while eliminating the need to maintain its own benchmark suite and implement benchmarks on competitor processors.
BDTI expects initial BDTI Video Benchmark results to become available in early 2006. To learn more about BDTI’s Video Benchmark suite and find out how your company can obtain a license or benchmark results, contact Jeremy Giddings at +1 510 665 1600 or giddings@BDTI.com, or visit www.BDTI.com.