New Intel SDK Aids Media Application Developers

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-08-06

Intel made a bunch of announcements at the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM) Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) show, including a new software development kit (SDK) for media application development.

At SIGGRAPH in New Orleans, Intel announced a new tool for simplifying the development of hardware accelerated video applications, the Intel Media Software Development Kit. The new SDK provides a single interface to optimize performance and accelerate video applications for processors and graphics chipsets.

Intel officials said media applications from developers such as Avid, Corel, Cyberlink and Nero will gain improved performance on future Intel platforms, like the previously announced Larrabee graphics architecture, without recoding.

The Intel Media SDK is an advanced software development tool designed to help media developers access hardware acceleration for video codecs. The tool gives media developers a standard API for creating video solutions for professional and consumer uses. It also provides optimized routines for delivering maximum video performance on a variety of platforms, as well as improved productivity for development teams through greater efficiency. And the SDK delivers built-in future proofing of video applications with support for upcoming platforms.

Meanwhile, also at SIGGRAPH, Intel made available version 2.2 of Intel Threading Building Blocks, which the company says is the most widely used high level programming method for parallelism. Intel TBB 2.2 maintains the functionality and platform support of previous versions and adds numerous feature and performance improvements, including full support for the lambda capabilities of the new C++ draft standard, C++0x, and more flexibility for independent software vendors (ISVs) to redistribute with applications using Intel TBB. Autodesk Maya and Epic Games Unreal Engine are among the applications that will be reshipping some or all of Intel TBB 2.2 to support ecosystem developers, Intel officials said.

In May, Intel began shipping its Intel Parallel Studio, a tool set designed to help Windows developers write parallel computing applications. James Reinders, director of Intel Software Development Products, called the studio an on-ramp to parallelism for C/C++ developers using Microsoft Visual Studio.

And in a third SIGGRAPH announcement, Intel made a move to bolster education and experimentation in PC game development, by announcing its sponsorship of the Dare to be Digital game development contest and Phase 3 winners of the $1 Million Intel Make Something Unreal Contest. In conjunction with the Intel Academic Community, Intel is sponsoring the University of Abertay Dundee's Dare to be Digital contest by providing hardware and software tools for the 10-week game development competition for students. Additionally, Intel and Epic announced winners for Phase 3 of the $1 Million Intel Make Something Unreal Contest recognizing breakout modifications for Unreal Tournament 3. Phase 4 of the contest closes on August 31.

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