Mesa 21.0 Adds Radeon HEVC SAO Encode Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 4 December 2020 at 08:22 AM EST. 7 Comments
RADEON --
For the "Video Core Next 2" hardware like Navi as well as Renoir APUs, HEVC "sample adaptive offset" support has landed in Mesa 21.0.

VCN 2.0 initially came with Navi 1x and a feature now being exposed in the Mesa 21.0 Radeon video encode code is support for HEVC/H.265 sample adaptive offset, or SAO for short. As explained at IEEE.org, Sample Adaptive Offset for HEVC is a in-loop filtering technique to reduce sample distortion. From that published data, "it is reported that SAO achieves on average 3.5% BD-rate reduction and up to 23.5% BD-rate reduction with less than 1% encoding time increase and about 2.5% decoding time increase under common test conditions of HEVC reference software version 8.0."

With this commit to Mesa 21.0 for the open-source Radeon Linux driver there is support for HEVC SAO during the GPU-accelerated encode for VCN2 and newer. Yes, this also includes HEVC SAO enabled for CDNA "Arcturus" on VCN2.5 and the Radeon RX 6000 "Navi 2" on the latest VCN3 block.

On the other side of the table, NVIDIA has been supporting HEVC SAO with their proprietary driver stack and NVENC interface since Pascal.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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