Qualcomm Will Support AV1 Video Codec In 2023, Report Says

Protocol reports that Qualcomm will finally jump on the AV1 video codec bandwagon next year. Ars Technica reports: AV1 is the web’s next open, royalty-free video codec, and widespread adoption will require hardware support from the world’s chip vendors. Qualcomm’s 2022 flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, doesn’t support AV1. Samsung’s Exynos 2200 managed to ship the video codec this year in international versions of the Galaxy S22, while the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC has been shipping in phones for over a year now with AV1 support. Apple is a founding member of the AV1 Alliance, but its devices also don’t support the codec yet.

The report says Qualcomm’s “upcoming flagship Snapdragon mobile processor” — model number “SM8550” — will support AV1. That would probably be called the “Snapdragon 8 Gen 2” SoC, due out in 2023. Wide adoption of AV1 seems inevitable, though it is taking a while. The codec is a successor to Google’s VP8 and VP9 codecs and is being built by the Alliance for Open Media. The alliance’s lineup is a who’s who of tech companies, with founding members like Amazon, Apple, ARM, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia, and Samsung. Netflix and Google’s YouTube are both making AV1 support “a requirement” for future products that want to support either video service. That should motivate just about every hardware and software vendor out there to get the job done. Aside from being open source and royalty-free, the report notes that the newer AV1 codec also has the benefit of being 30% more efficient than H.265.

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