AV1 is ready for prime time Part 2: Decoding performance

x86

On the PC side of things AV1 decoding is already very mature. The past months a lot of SSSE3 assembly was added to dav1d increasing it’s performance on older CPUs (pre-Haswell and pre-Zen).

Arm

ARMv8 performance is now a main focus to enable AV1 software decoding on battery limited devices. We saw dav1d performance improve steadily over the last year. Single-threaded performance increased by 30 to 50%.

Conclusion

dav1d 0.5.0, which will be released this week, is still the fastest AV1 decoder in town. 1080p AV1 decoding is now possible on almost all x86 CPUs thanks to the added SSSE3 assembly and 4K is doable for almost all quad-core CPUs. On the Arm side 720p is possible on low-end devices and 1080p on the high-end, but energy usage has to be considered.

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