Investing in our planet’s future is increasingly crucial for businesses across all industries. According to Harvard Business Review, the “sustainable business went mainstream in 2021” and there really is no turning back. Organizations are setting themselves up today, for a greener tomorrow and broadcasters and OTT video service providers are already jumping onto the sustainability bandwagon to enhance operational efficiencies and help drive costs down.
A major industry challenge in media is the increasing demand for fast, reliable video on multiple end-devices. However, data transmission is power hungry and costly without the right infrastructure in place to tackle the issue head on. Service providers (SPs) need ways to transcode high-density content using low power consumption without compromising on quality or speed. Luckily, improvements in the efficiency of media servers utilizing GPU-accelerated computing help operators offset these challenges.
Embracing GPUs and power efficiency
The graphics processing unit (GPU) has become a powerful video processing engine for its ability to handle a growing range of applications and workloads. Interestingly enough, GPU acceleration has become the ideal way to reduce power consumption for operators without compromising performance. When the server’s central processing unit (CPU) handles simpler, more generic workloads, while the GPU (supporting many more cores) takes on bigger computational jobs like complex video processing tasks, the end-result is a whole lot “greener”.
Kontron’s PCIe Dual SG1 GPU accelerator
Kontron builds hardware that minimizes the carbon footprint that comes with computing. Supporting reliable Intel GPU hardware acceleration, Kontron’s PCIe Dual SG1 GPU card provides an unparalleled feature set for video transcoding yet addresses density and power challenges, while reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). It supports 2 x SG1 Intel GPUs per card with 8 GB DDR4X each. It is robust enough to transcode up to 8 UHD/4K HEVC streams, or 40 full HD streams per card.
In comparison to CPU-only processing, GPUs can do more, using less power. The PCIe-2SG1 GPU accelerator offloads processing tasks from the CPU and provides higher video transcoding capacity with minimized power consumption to preserve the planet while increasing performance.
Transcoding more sustainably
MediaKind is increasing stream distribution and reducing TCO dramatically for their customers by running their Aquila headend software on Kontron PCIe-2SG1. With flexible configuration options of 1 or 2 cards per 1U server, operators are delivering multiple UHD OTT channels at lower wattage per channel. An additional advantage is that they can decrease their TCO when using fewer servers to perform the same functions. Designed to support advanced video processing, the platform translates to more energy and cost-efficient UHD streams.
Based on Kontron PCIe-2SG1 technology, MediaKind has developed a compelling solution for customers seeking to integrate sustainability into their business strategies while keeping performance, cost, space, and power in mind.
Each year, NAB Show hosts their Product of the Year Awards ceremony, where a panel of judges selects breakthrough solutions that they believe will transform the media and entertainment industry. We were thrilled to learn that MediaKind’s “Aquila with SG1” won 2 awards last week - for best streaming solution, and best overall. This reinforces the need to invest in media technology partnerships that believe in sustainable products for streaming and content delivery.
Sustainability is important to us
Kontron has recently published its Sustainability Report for 2022 that outlines its strong commitment to designing solutions that help increase efficiency and use energy and resources more effectively. Products are developed with longevity in mind, with far less of an impact on the environment than those that require regular upgrades or where turnover is high.
It will be interesting to learn how these eco-friendly technologies will continue to shape the way content is created and delivered.