Unified Video Decoder
Unified Video Decoder (UVD), previously called Universal Video Decoder, is the name given to AMD's dedicated video decoding ASIC. There are multiple versions implementing a multitude of video codecs, such as H.264 and VC-1.
UVD was introduced with the Radeon HD 2000 Series and is integrated into some of the AMD GPUs and APUs. UVD occupies a considerable amount of the die surface and is not to be confused with AMD's Video Coding Engine (VCE).
The UVD is based on an ATI Xilleon video processor, which is incorporated onto the same die as the GPU and is part of the ATI Avivo HD for hardware video decoding, along with the Advanced Video Processor (AVP). UVD, as stated by AMD, handles decoding of H.264/AVC, and VC-1 video codecs entirely in hardware.
In early versions of UVD, video post-processing is passed to the pixel shaders and OpenCL kernels. MPEG-2 decoding is not performed within UVD, but in the shader processors. The decoder meets the performance and profile requirements of Blu-ray and HD DVD, decoding H.264 bitstreams up to a bitrate of 40 Mbit/s. It has context-adaptive binary arithmetic coding (CABAC) support for H.264/AVC.
Unlike video acceleration blocks in previous generation GPUs, which demanded considerable host-CPU involvement, UVD offloads the entire video-decoder process for VC-1 and H.264 except for video post-processing, which is offloaded to the shaders. MPEG-2 decode is also supported, but the bitstream/entropy decode is not performed for MPEG-2 video in hardware. Previously, neither ATI Radeon R520 series' ATI Avivo nor NVidia Geforce 7 series' PureVideo assisted front-end bitstream/entropy decompression in VC-1 and H.264 - the host CPU performed this work. UVD handles VLC/CAVLC/CABAC, frequency transform, pixel prediction and inloop deblocking, but passes the post processing to the shaders. Post-processing includes denoising, de-interlacing, and scaling/resizing. AMD has also stated that the UVD component being incorporated into the GPU core only occupies 4.7 mm² in area on 65 nm fabrication process node.
The UVD saw a refresh with the release of the Radeon HD 4000 series products. The UVD 2 features full bitstream decoding of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, VC-1, as well as iDCT level acceleration of MPEG2 video streams. Performance improvements allow dual video stream decoding and Picture-in-Picture mode. This makes UVD2 full BD-Live compliant.
The UVD 2.2 features a re-designed local memory interface and enhances the compatibility with MPEG2/H.264/VC-1 videos. However, it was marketed under the same alias as "UVD 2 Enhanced" as the "special core-logic, available in RV770 and RV730 series of GPUs, for hardware decoding of MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1 video with dual-stream decoding". The nature of UVD 2.2 being an incremental update to the UVD 2 can be accounted for this move.
UVD 3 adds support for additional hardware MPEG2 decoding (entropy decode), DivX and Xvid via MPEG-4 Part 2 decoding (entropy decode, inverse transform, motion compensation) and Blu-ray 3D via MVC (entropy decode, inverse transform, motion compensation, in-loop deblocking). along with 120 Hz stereo 3D support, and is optimized to utilize less CPU processing power. UVD 3 also adds support for Blu-ray 3D stereoscopic displays.
UVD 4 includes improved frame interpolation with H.264 decoder. UVD 4.2 was introduced with the AMD Radeon Rx 200 series and Kaveri APU."X.ORG Radeon UVD (Unified Video Decoder) Hardware-UVD4.2: KAVERI, KABINI, MULLINS, BONAIRE, HAWAII". May 2016.
UVD 5 was introduced with the AMD Radeon R9 285. New to UVD is full support for 4K H.264 video, up to level 5.2 (4Kp60).
The UVD 6.0 decoder and Video Coding Engine 3.1 encoder were reported to be first used in GPUs based on GCN 3, including Radeon R9 Fury series and "Carrizo"-APUs, followed by AMD Radeon Rx 300 Series (Pirate Islands GPU family) and AMD Radeon Rx 400 Series (Arctic Islands GPU family). The UVD version in "Fiji" and "Carrizo"-based graphics controller hardware is also announced to provide support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, H.265) hardware video decoding, up to 4K, 8-bits color(h.265 version 1, main profile); and there is support for the 10bit-color HDR both h.265 and VP9 video codec in the AMD Radeon 400 series with UVD 6.3.
Most of the Radeon HD 2000 series video cards implement the UVD for hardware decoding of 1080p high definition contents. However, the Radeon HD 2900 series video cards do not include the UVD (though it is able to provide partial functionality through the use of its shaders), which was incorrectly stated to be present on the product pages and package boxes of the add-in partners' products before the launch of the Radeon HD 2900 XT, either stating the card as featuring ATI Avivo HD or explicitly UVD, which only the former statement of ATI Avivo HD is correct. The exclusion of UVD was also confirmed by AMD officials.
|Brand||Llano||Trinity||Richland||Kaveri||Carrizo||Bristol Ridge||Raven Ridge||Desna, Ontario, Zacate||Kabini, Temash||Beema, Mullins||Carrizo-L||Stoney Ridge|
|Platform||Desktop, Mobile||Mobile||Desktop, Mobile||Ultra-mobile|
|Released||Aug 2011||Oct 2012||Jun 2013||Jan 2014||Jun 2015||Jun 2016||TBA||Jan 2011||May 2013||Q2 2014||May 2015||June 2016|
|Fab. (nm)||GlobalFoundries 32 SOI||28||14||TSMC 40||28|
|Die size (mm2)||228||246||245||244.62||250.04||TBA||75 (+ 28 FCH)||~107||TBA||125|
|Socket||FM1, FS1||FM2, FS1+, FP2||FM2+, FP3||FM2+, FP4||AM4, FP4||AM4, FP5||FT1||AM1, FT3||FT3b||FP4||FP4|
|CPU architecture||AMD 10h||Piledriver||Steamroller||Excavator||Zen||Bobcat||Jaguar||Puma||Puma+||Excavator|
|3D engine[a]||TeraScale (VLIW5)||TeraScale (VLIW4)||GCN 2nd Gen (Mantle, HSA)||GCN 3rd Gen (Mantle, HSA)||GCN 4th Gen (Mantle, HSA)||TeraScale (VLIW5)||GCN 2nd Gen||GCN 3rd Gen|
|Up to 400:20:8||Up to 384:24:6||Up to 512:32:8||TBA||80:8:4||128:8:4||Up to 192:?:?|
|Unified Video Decoder||UVD 3||UVD 4.2||UVD 6||TBA||UVD 3||UVD 4||UVD 4.2||UVD 6||UVD 6.3|
|Video Coding Engine||N/A||VCE 1.0||VCE 2.0||VCE 3.1||TBA||N/A||VCE 2.0||VCE 3.1|
|GPU power saving||PowerPlay||PowerTune||N/A||PowerTune|
|Engineering Name||Marketing Name||UVD Version|
|Oland||Radeon R7 R7 240/250||UVD 3.1|
|Cape Verde||Radeоn HD 7700 Series, Radeon R7 250E/250X, Radeon E8860||UVD 3.1|
|Cayman||Radeоn HD 6900 Series||UVD 3|
|Barts||Radeоn HD 6800 Series||UVD 3|
|Turks||Radeоn HD 6500/6600/7500/7600 Series||UVD 3|
|Sumo||Radeоn HD 6500 Series||UVD 3|
|Caicos||Radeоn HD 6400 Series, Radeon R5 235/235X, Radeon E6460||UVD 3|
|Palm||Radeоn HD 6300 Series||UVD 3|
|-||Radeоn HD 6200 Series||UVD 3|
|Radeоn HD 5900 Series
Radeon HD 5800 Series
|Juniper||Radeоn HD 5700/6700 Series||UVD 2.2|
|Redwood||Radeоn HD 5600/5500 Series||UVD 2.2|
|Cedar||Radeоn HD 5400 Series||UVD 2.2|
|RV790||Radeon HD 4890 Series||UVD 2.1|
|Radeon HD 4800 X2 Series
Radeon HD 4800 Series
|RV740||Radeon HD 4700 Series||UVD 2.2|
|RV730||Radeon HD 4600 Series||UVD 2.2|
|RV710||Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series||UVD 2.2|
|RV670||Radeon HD 3800 Series||UVD+|
|RV635||Radeon HD 3600 Series||UVD+|
|RV620||Radeon HD 3400 Series||UVD+|
|RV630||Radeon HD 2600 Series||UVD|
|RV610||Radeon HD 2400 Series||UVD|
|RS880||Radeon HD 4200/AMD 785G Chipset||UVD 2.0|
|Radeon HD 3200/AMD 780G Chipset
Radeon HD 3300 IGP/AMD 790GX Chipset
|M98||Mobility Radeon HD 4800 Series||UVD 2|
|M96||Mobility Radeon HD 4600 Series||UVD 2|
|M92||Mobility Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series||UVD 2.2|
|M88||Mobility Radeon HD 3800 Series||UVD+|
|M86||Mobility Radeon HD 3600 Series||UVD+|
|M82||Mobility Radeon HD 3400 Series||UVD+|
|M76||Mobility Radeon HD 2600 Series||UVD|
|M72||Mobility Radeon HD 2400 Series||UVD|
|M71||Mobility Radeon HD 2300 Series||UVD|
Operating system support
The UVD SIP core needs to be supported by the device driver, which provides one or more interfaces such as VDPAU, VAAPI or DXVA. One of these interfaces is then used by end-user software, for example VLC media player or GStreamer, to access the UVD hardware and make use of it.
AMD Catalyst, AMD's proprietary graphics device driver that supports UVD, is available for Microsoft Windows and some Linux distributions. Additionally, a free device driver is available, which also supports the UVD hardware.
Support for UVD has been available in AMD's proprietary driver Catalyst version 8.10 since October 2008 through X-Video Motion Compensation (XvMC) or X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA). Since April 2013, UVD is supported by the free and open-source "radeon" device driver through Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU). An implementation of VDPAU is available as Gallium3D state tracker in Mesa 3D.
Windows supported UVD since it was launched. UVD currently only supports DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration) API specification for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 platforms to allow video decoding to be hardware accelerated, thus the media player software also has to support DXVA to be able to utilize UVD hardware acceleration.
- Bit stream decoder (BSD)
- Comparison of AMD graphics processing units
- DirectX Video Acceleration (DxVA) – Microsoft's hardware acceleration API for Microsoft Windows based operating-system.
- Nvidia PureVideo – a bit-stream technology from NVIDIA used in their graphics chips to accelerate video decoding
- VDPAU – Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix, from NVIDIA
- Video Acceleration API (VA API) – an alternative video acceleration API to XvBA for Linux/UNIX operating-system that supports XvBA as a backend
- Video Coding Engine – AMD's hardware decoder and encoder (codec transcoder), first introduced end of 2011 with Radeon HD 7900.
- X-Video Bitstream Acceleration (XvBA) – AMD's future hardware acceleration API for Linux/UNIX operating-system.
- Dual-GPU variants with two of the latter GPUs.
- Driver version 8.371 or later must be used if the GPU is "Mobility Radeon HD 2300" for enabling UVD functions for H.264 videos, or system may crash.
- "AMD A-Series APU block diagram". 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "Linux operating system on Xtensa processors".
- Cheung, Ken (2009-01-08). "Consumer Electronics Show Features Tensilica-enabled Products". EDA Geek. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "Customer Profiles | Cadence IP". Ip.cadence.com. 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "Tensilica News: Excellent AMD ATI Video with Xtensa". tensilica.com. 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "ATI Licenses Tensilica's Xtensa Configurable Processor". Business Wire. 2004-10-18. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
- "HardSpell review" (in Chinese). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- Smith, Ryan (February 24, 2010). "AMD's Radeon HD 5450: The Next Step In HTPC Video Cards". AnandTech. AnandTech, Inc. p. 4. Retrieved April 7, 2010.
Since deinterlacing and other AVIVO post-processing actions are done by the shader hardware, the limited shading capabilities of these cards meant that AMD couldn’t offer the full suite of AVIVO abilities at once.
- (Chinese) PC-DVD discussion thread, retrieved August 23, 2008
- White Paper | AMD Unified Video Decoder (UVD)
- http://www.dailytech.com/Radeon+6800+Series+Launches+Targets+GeForce+GTX+460/article19928.htm by Jansen Ng, 10/21/2010 DailyTech
- "AMD A6-3650 Llano APU Review - Page 5". Hardwarecanucks.com. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- Koen Crijns (14 January 2014). "AMD A10-7850K 'Kaveri' review: AMD's new APU". hardware.info.
- Ryan Smith. "GCN 1.2 – Image & Video Processing - AMD Radeon R9 285 Review: Feat. Sapphire R9 285 Dual-X OC". anandtech.com.
- "Guide to HEVC_H.265 Encoding and Playback". TechSpot.
- "Key features of AMD's third iteration of GCN architecture revealed".
- http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/dri-devel/2015-June/084083.html [pull] amdgpu drm-next-4.2
- "Display Matters Virtual Super Resolution, Frame Rate Targeting, and HEVC Decoding - The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Review Aiming For the Top". Anandtech.
- "AMD Radeon R9 Fury X im Test: Eine ernsthafte Alternative zu Nvidias Topmodellen".
- Rick Merritt (2015-01-05). "AMD Describes Notebook Processor". EE Times. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
- AMD. "Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 16.12.1 Release Notes". amd.com. amd.com. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- "AMD Introduces New Professional Graphics Vision and Strategy, Empowering the "Art of the Impossible"". AMD.
- "AMD Launches the Radeon Rebellion with the Radeon™ RX 480 Graphics Card, Available Now". AMD.
- Killian, Zak (22 March 2017). "AMD publishes patches for Vega support on Linux". Tech Report. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- HKEPC Hardware. "電腦領域 HKEPC Hardware - 全港 No.1 PC網站". hkepc.com.
- "DailyTech - Whoops, ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT Lacks UVD". dailytech.com.
- "AMD Mobile "Carrizo" Family of APUs Designed to Deliver Significant Leap in Performance, Energy Efficiency in 2015" (Press release). 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- "AMD VEGA10 and VEGA11 GPUs spotted in OpenCL driver". VideoCardz.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- "AMD VEGA10 and VEGA11 GPUs spotted in OpenCL driver". VideoCardz.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- Thomas De Maesschalck (2013-11-14). "AMD teases Mullins and Beema tablet/convertibles APU". Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- Tony Chen; Jason Greaves, "AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture" (PDF), AMD, retrieved 2016-08-13
- "How do I connect three or More Monitors to an AMD Radeon™ HD 5000, HD 6000, and HD 7000 Series Graphics Card?". AMD. Retrieved 2014-12-08.
- "A technical look at AMD's Kaveri architecture". Semi Accurate. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
- Airlie, David (2009-11-26). "DisplayPort supported by KMS driver mainlined into Linux kernel 2.6.33". Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- "Radeon feature matrix". freedesktop.org. Retrieved 2016-01-10.
- Deucher, Alexander (2015-09-16). "XDC2015: AMDGPU" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- Michel Dänzer (2016-11-17). "[ANNOUNCE] xf86-video-amdgpu 1.2.0". lists.x.org.
- (PDF) https://web.archive.org/web/20130911104934/http://www.amd.com/us/Documents/49282_G-Series_platform_brief.pdf. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2013. Missing or empty
- "Phoronix.com Forum". phoronix.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
- Michael Larabel (October 8, 2014). "The Slides Announcing The New "AMDGPU" Kernel Driver". Phoronix. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- "UVD Is Enabled For Linux In Catalyst 8.10". Phoronix. 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "AMD's X-Video Bitstream Acceleration". Phoronix. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "AMD Releases Open-Source UVD Video Support". Phoronix. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "AMD Radeon VDPAU Video Performance With Gallium3D". Phoronix. 2014-06-28. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
- "Interfacing a PC graphics card (Radeon HD 2400) with a STM32 microcontroller". Edaboard.com. 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
- ATI Avivo HD Technology Brief, July 2008
- AMD Video Technologies, October 2010
- Presentation slides comparison between CPU decode, ATI Avivo HD and PureVideo HD and Decode comparison of VC-1 and H.264 video
- AMD Media Codecs (an optional download)