Chips called Video (Trans) coding units had been in operation for more than half a decade as Google engineers fine-tuned their optimization algorithms.
The new spike is known to have helped YouTube achieve tremendous use during the peak pandemic.
According to Google, VCU gives users the highest possible quality YouTube video without consuming as much bandwidth as before, while Google helps reduce infrastructure costs.
In interview on YouTube blogJeff Calow, Google’s software designer and one of the engineers behind the new chip, said Google began working with the chips soon after noticing a rise in demand for higher-quality videos several years ago.
To serve videos without penalty to the viewer, Google switched to more data-efficient video codecs, such as VP9. However, VP9 required five times more computational resources to encode than the widely used H.264 format, which led the company to design a custom silicon.
Calow pointed out that VCUs are orders of magnitude faster than their previous transcoding solution, which ran on traditional processors.
The first version of the VCU, which supports both VP9 and H.264 codecs, has now been deployed in Google data centers around the world, adding that Google engineers are already working on the next-generation VCU for the new and upcoming AV1. codec.
Through Data center information