Saturday, June 5, 2010

Elemental Delivers GPU-Accelerated Video Streaming Solutions

Last month at Streaming Media East, Sam Blackman, CEO and Co-Founder of Elemental Technologies, demonstrated Elemental Live and Elemental Server, two enterprise-class video processing systems for live and on-demand streaming. The Portland, Oregon-based software company, has pioneered the use of GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) and other massively parallel chips for video processing capable of handling multiple simultaneous tasks with much higher performance than CPU (central processing unit)-based transcoding. Blackman says that Elemental is the first company to take advantage of GPUs for video processing and that their solutions help lower the total cost of streaming video. Elemental Server was released in November 2009 and Elemental Live was recently launched at NAB in April 2010.

Blackman explained that Elemental Live works by taking a couple GPUs to create many concurrent real-time encoded versions of the input file. A single Elemental Live can simultaneously encode for any number of mobile handsets, either iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and more, for adaptive bit rate protocols, HTML 5 and multiple HD streams. Elemental Server takes files in and batch encodes to output files with two NVIDIA Corporation. video cards (each with two GPUs) as well as two quad-core CPUs.

The company says that through the combination of by combining GPU and CPU processing, one Elemental Server replaces up to seven dual quad core 3GHz CPU-only servers. Both products are single rack mount units with multiple inputs and outputs. Elemental says the two products are ideal for for broadcasters, studios, online video platforms and any other video transcoding application, and are much more cost-effective than other solutions. Elemental Live has a price tag of $36,000 and Elemental Sever sells for $26,000.

Demonstration Video - How the Elemental Video Engine Works

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Elemental's products are targeted to large data center operations and studios that require a sturdier solution than cloud alternatives HD Cloud and Elemental customers include Brightcove, CDC, Citrix, Highwinds and InQtel, and partners with Adobe, Microsoft, and Nvidia. Blackman co-founded Elemental technologies in 2006 with CTO Jesse Rosenzweig and Chief Architect Brian Lewis, who along with Blackman were former engineers of semiconducter company Pixelworks. Soon after their launch, Pixelworks provided seed funding to Elemental for initial reach and development and in July 2008 Elemental had raised a total $7.1 million Series A.

Elemental Technologies was recognized as one of 10 companies chosen for NewTeeVee’s Next Big Thing List for 2009 for their innovation in online video. Blackman was on hand to demo the GPU-accelerated Elemental Server which he debuted at the event. Other Elemental products include Elemental Accelerator for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 renders Blu-ray quality AVC/H.264 files using the GPU and Badaboom, a consumer media converter, in partnership with NVIDIA Corporation.

About Elemental
Elemental Technologies is the leading provider of massively parallel video processing solutions for enterprise video customers. Elemental's products use off-the-shelf, programmable graphics processing units (GPUs) for compute-intensive video processing tasks. Founded in 2006, Elemental is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. To learn more about Elemental, visit

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