What Is the Visual Cloud?
With visual computing workloads growing at an accelerating pace, cloud service providers (CSPs), communications service providers (CoSPs), and enterprises are rethinking the physical and virtual distribution of compute resources. Visual cloud computing consists of a set of capabilities for remotely consuming content and services that center around the efficient delivery of visual experiences —both live and file-based —as well as applications that add intelligence to video content and tap into machine learning and other artificial intelligence areas, such as object recognition.
Open Source Software
To help strengthen the ecosystem and provide ready access to the tools and technologies for building effective solutions, Intel is working within the open source community to release tools, libraries, and previous commercial products, including Intel® Media SDK, Embree, Intel® OSPRay, and Intel® OpenSWR that are available today and components of the OpenVINO™ toolkit - Intel® Deep Learning Deployment Toolkit (Intel® DL Deployment Toolkit) support for Intel CPU and GPU (Intel® Processor Graphics) and heterogeneous plugins, and Intel’s Open Model Zoo pre-trained models and samples - will be available Q3’18.
Two new codec cores released to open source are Scalable Video Technology for HEVC (SVT-HEVC) and Scalable Video Technology for AOMedia Video 1 (SVT-AV1), available 1H’2019. There are also enabling technologies from Intel, including WebRTC and Remoting SDK.
On-line gaming is beginning to move to a cloud streaming model just like music, movies, and TV shows with companies like Gamestream* and Playgiga*. The burgeoning growth of online games represents additional revenue with white-label software allowing operators to brand, offer, and monetize an OTT-like service to their subscribers and target casual gamers at home. The new Intel® Core™ processors and Radeon* RX Vega M Graphics is used to stream high-density game content so consumers can play anywhere at any time without having to buy proprietary consoles or expensive games.
People can work collaboratively across 3D graphics applications remotely. With data and applications accessible securely from the data center, complex renderings and visualizations can be handled by high-performance servers in a virtualized environment so remote desktop or remote rendering workloads can be adjusted dynamically to meet requirements. Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1500 v5 with Iris® Pro graphics and/or Embree, high performance software-based ray tracing kernels developed by Intel and released to open source, are ideal for these use-cases.
Media Processing & Delivery
Cloud-based media processing and delivery demands in response to escalating video traffic across wired and wireless channels have become a vitally important service capability for CSPs, CoSPs, and Enterprises. The predominant use cases involving media workloads are live streaming, broadcast media, and over-the-top (OTT) media. The Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512), makes it possible to accelerate high-quality video transcoding and streaming. In addition, Intel® Xeon® processor E3-1500 v5 with Intel® Quick Sync Video technology and Intel® Media Server Studio enables high-density media transcoding solutions for OTT video.
By incorporating technologies from the Intel® AI Portfolio and leveraging IoT technologies, sophisticated media analytics applications can do everything from detecting suspicious intruders in a video surveillance feed to surveying the traffic patterns in a smart city to better control flow. The OpenVINO™ toolkit—a free component available from Intel—streamlines the development of computer vision solutions that include deep learning inference capabilities.
AR and VR technologies are inspiring innovators to introduce new products, services, and business models into the visual computing market. They are creating opportunities for CSPs, CoSPs, and broadcast companies, such as 360-degree live streaming, AR-guided service procedures, immersive entertainment experiences, and VR enhanced location-based experiences.