W&W Communications Introduces New Architecture for H.264 Video Coding

Taos architecture designed to offer high performance with low latency, and highest channel density


"Taos implements a groundbreaking architecture that elegantly scales in resolution, streams and processing bandwidth," said Farhad Mighani, VP Engineering at W&W Communications. "Advanced power management keeps dissipation below 25mW per CIF channel. Taos strikes a balance between a hardwired and programmable approach, while maintaining total flexibility without the software development overhead typically inherent with programmable solutions."

Taos has end-to-end encode-decode latency of less than 2ms. This unprecedented "zero" latency is crucial for video conferencing, telepresence and video telephony applications, wireless video distribution networks, where channel flipping, navigation and gaming requires instant feedback and for automated video surveillance systems where a facility needs to be secured immediately upon intruder detection.

"Taos implements intelligent motion vector search and all motion estimation and intra-prediction modes," said James Liu, CTO and co-founder of W&W Communications. "Consequently, its performance comes very close to theoretical. Taos also includes patented in-loop noise reduction filters. These filters are responsible for up to 45% additional bit rate reductions, further reducing network bandwidth and storage demands. The superior video quality and near-zero latency of Taos has been proven for over a year in our earlier HD codec products."

Taos delivers the same video quality at roughly half the bit rates of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. Other features include a flexible encoder toolset with in-loop de-blocking filter, single-pass bit rate control, content-adaptive noise filtering, programmable cost functions for motion vector and prediction mode coding, efficient search algorithms, large search area, 1/2 and 1/4 pixel motion estimation interpolation and error resiliency and concealment. Next to Baseline Profile, Taos ads support for Main and High Profile without compromising near-zero latency.

First Product Availability

The first products based on the Taos architecture are scheduled for sampling in Q3-Q4 2007. For more information visit http://www.wwcoms.com.

W&W Communications is a fabless semiconductor company, which develops best-in-class video compression solutions for consumer, professional, enterprise and infrastructure applications. Its innovative product line includes highly optimized, low-latency, power-efficient, high-definition H.264 codecs and multi-format, multi-channel transcoders. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA with offices in Beijing, China and Madrid, Spain.