Video Acceleration API
Video Acceleration API (VA API) is an open source software library ("libVA") and API specification. The cross-platform API enables and provides access to hardware accelerated video processing, using hardware like for example graphics processing units (GPU) to accelerate video processing in order to offload the central processing unit (CPU) to decode and encode compressed digital video.
VA API video decode/encode interface is platform and window system independent but is today primarily targeted at Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI) in X Window System on Unix-based operating systems (including Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris), and Android, however it can potentially also be used with direct framebuffer and graphics sub-systems for video output. Accelerated processing includes support for video decoding, video encoding, subpicture blending, and rendering.
The VA API specification was originally designed by Intel for its GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) series of GPU hardware with the specific purpose of some day fully replacing XvMC standard as the default Unix multi-platform equivalent of Microsoft Windows DirectX Video Acceleration (DxVA) API, but today the API is no longer limited to only GPUs nor to Intel specific hardware. Other hardware and manufacturers can freely use this open standard API for hardware accelerated video processing with their own hardware without paying royalty fee.
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