Silicon Intellectual Property (IP) provider CAST has launched a new H.264 encoder core intended for applications that require the transmission of the highest quality video over low bit-rate channels.

The company claims that the CAST H264-E Encoder Core delivers some of the best looking compressed video available.

Possible uses include remote medical diagnostics, military targeting, satellite reconnaissance and advanced surveillance systems.

The core offers this quality for screen sizes from handheld (CIF, 352 x 240 pixels) to full HD (1080p30, 1920 x 1080 at 30 frames per second).

It fully supports the Baseline Profile, Level 4.1, of the H.264 specification (MPEG-4 Part 10, also known as MPEG-4 AVC, Advanced Video Coding).

The company said that every design decision in the CAST H264-E development process was made in favor of improving video quality.

"This uncompromising approach led to excellent output and nearly constant-quality video for even the most demanding compression challenges: high-motion scenes, quick camera panning, rapid scene changes, artificial motion, and frequent zooming," according to a CAST statement.

"Achieving this video quality with just Baseline Profile support means the CAST H264-E generally requires fewer resources—processing time, chip area, and power consumption—than competing cores that support higher-level profiles."

The H264-E Encoder Core was developed by long-time CAST partner Alma Technologies in Greece.

The core is available now, in RTL source code for ASICs or optimized netlists for programmable devices.

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