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YouTube goes to Argos for transcoding

New Argos video coding units bring up to 20-33 times improvements in compute efficiency compared to Youtube's previous optimised system

YouTube has developed its own video transcoding unit in order to deliver the best video quality for users.

In a blog post, YouTube’s lead software engineer, Jeff Calow, explained that the company has been tracking the rising demand for higher quality video (e.g. 1080p, 4K and now 8K) as well as the need to move to more data-efficient video codecs.

YouTube developed its video transcoding unit, named Argos, which helps it transcode a single video into over a dozen versions in order to provide its audience with a smooth, bandwidth-efficient site.

Calow explained that the Argos chip has brought “up to 20-33 times improvements in compute efficiency compared to our previous optimised system, which was running software on traditional servers.”

According to YouTube, instead of taking days to process 4K video, it only takes hours.

Calow revealed the team is already working on the next-generation on the chip which will include the AV1 codec.