Hardware processors play an important role in the puzzle of making real-time communications work well for everybody. Although much of up-and-coming standards such as WebRTC see the light of day as software implementation, the underlying hardware has a lot to say about the quality of transmissions between users.
Intel, a developer of processors used across the world, has developed its Visual Compute Accelerator server blade for handling exactly those tasks. It uses a collection of three Xeon processors to transcode video for all manner of enterprises. Its companion software, the Collaboration Suite for WebRTC, recently received a major update to reach version 3.0 and allow users to manage their video conferences on top of that hardware.
A number of new features in that software make it more powerful than ever. First, it has added a C++ software development kit (SDK) for Windows that supports multipoint control unit video conferences. The SDK supports hardware decoding of VP8 and H.264 types and can also handle raw and encoded video with its included application programing interface.
Collaboration Suite also extends its reach to Android by adding an SDK for control over audio quality, including elimination of “howling” (a type of unwanted feedback), on that platform.
Of course, management of audio and video quality can only begin after connections have been made. Now, Intel’s software can decrease the time users must wait when connecting with interactive connectivity establishment (ICE) servers by making it easier for peers to find one another.
Other updates to the Collaboration Suite include support for recording of H.264 video and Opus audio. It also knows how to handle multiple video streams at the same time, even if those streams have different quality resolutions.
WebRTC has taken the spotlight at this week’s ITEXPO. Talks have included discussions about the thousands of uses cases for Web-based real-time communications and how communications in Web browsers can change everything. In many circles, this new method of communication really is that powerful.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere