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Socionext Takes Ethernet Weight Off Media Streaming

April 13, 2017

One of the biggest demands on Ethernet capability—and one of the biggest reasons we keep hearing calls for more bandwidth—is video. Not just the video we watch for fun at night, either, but the video that we use as part of conferencing tools, as training operations, and more. That means a lot of strain on available resources, but Socionext may have some solutions waiting in the wings.

These new solutions from Socionext include two key points: one, a new high-end media server, and two, a complete 4K HEVC codec on a single chip. With these two systems, both content providers and service providers can get new, powerful options for presenting content without pulling a lot of Ethernet capability out of the equation.

First, there's the M820 media edge server, a system that turns to Socionext's SC2A11A processor, built around the ARM core system. The system can handle not only HEVC, but also AVC and MPEG-2 encoding, which allows for the lowest latency going in on the massive data processing that goes into such a system. With this system, Socionext can readily combine both its high-end processing power with a top-notch codec to produce excellent efficiency and a reduced drain on Ethernet resources.

Second, there's the new SC2M50, a single-chip video encoder / decoder that draws on HEVC to produce 4K at a 60p rate.  Since the SC2M50 only requires 3.5W of power to use—representing as much as a 97 percent power savings over current alternatives—that means cost savings along with power savings while little if any is sacrificed in the way of quality. Better yet, the SC2M50 only uses about half the bandwidth of standard H.264 codec transmission, which means a better-functioning network and improved response times.

Feel free to be impressed by what you just read; you have good reason to be. This combination of materials might be a major step forward for providing ultra-high definition video over standard Ethernet connections, addressing one of the biggest problems we face in online connectivity these days: bandwidth shortages. While we're rapidly improving on the supply side thanks to things like 5G connectivity and fiber connections, we also need improvements on demand too, to help bridge the gap between now and those fatter pipes coming soon. Socionext's tools help deliver that help, and give us all more breathing room online.

It's great news, all things considered, and should provide a lot of help in the long term until connectivity improves. Socionext's tools may be just the thing to get video to more users, and given how valuable video's proving to be, that's a great outcome to have.

Edited by Alicia Young

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