The latest version of Intel's Media SDK open sourced a key component of the QuickSync pipeline that would allow the open source community to begin to integrate QuickSync into their applications (if you're not familiar with QS, it's Intel's hardware accelerated video transcode engine included in most modern Core processors). I mentioned this open source victory back at CES this year, and today the HandBrake team is officially announcing support for QuickSync. 

The support has been in testing for a while, but the HandBrake folks say that they expect to get comparable speedups to other QuickSync enabled applications.

No word on exactly when we'll see an official build of HandBrake with QuickSync support, although I fully expect Intel to want to have something neat to showcase QuickSync performance on Haswell in June. I should add that this won't apply to OS X versions of HandBrake unfortunately, enabling that will require some assistance from Apple and Intel - there's no Media SDK available for OS X at this point, and I don't know that OS X exposes the necessary hooks to get access to QuickSync.

Source: Intel PR

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  • Zanegray - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    I assume no Linux either :/
  • thefoodaddy - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Wait...what about OpenCL for those of us without access to QuickSync? I hope that's still in the pipeline!
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Test build of Handbrake do use opnCL, but poorly.
    I wonder if Handbrake will use AVX2 and FMA3 extensions ?
  • A5 - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Unless Haswell's arch is way different than what I think, I can't imagine the QuickSync block is allowed to use those processor resources since it is technically part of the iGPU. If it has that stuff, it'll be to the exclusion of QS.
  • icrf - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I don't think Handbrake would use AVX2 or FMA3 so much as x264 would and Handbrake would update to include the updated encoder that does. I assume that'll happen shortly after Haswell launches, considering the bit and int functions added/expanded in AVX2.
  • powerarmour - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Not until they release the Media SDK at least.
  • Arbee - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I wish Anand would stop calling this some kind of open source victory when it's Windows-only and not actually open.
  • loadwick - Thursday, April 4, 2013 - link

    Are we over the days of QuickSync not working in you have another GPU on your PC? Back in the Sandy Bridge days QuickSync only worked when you had a monitor attached to one of its outputs, is this still the case?

    I will be buying a Haswell set up when it's out but will also be using a dedicated GPU, will the GPU on the CPU still function? Will software like Handbrake still have access to QuickSync?

    Also there is often concerns over quality from GPU assisted encoding, is this still the case with Open CL? What would be a better option (mainly quality but also speed) new upper midrange AMD or nVidia card or sticking with QuickSync or disabling all GPU acceleration and purely using x86?
  • janderk - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    Who still uses Handbrake these days?

    All the movie and subtitle formats I encounter are played flawlessly on my PC, smartphone, tablet en even 2 year old TV.
  • Pjotr - Thursday, March 28, 2013 - link

    I do all the time to shrink large high resolution clips to phone and tablet.

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