Elemental Technologies has raised $13 million to expand internationally, but the cool story behind this company is that it is selling its GPU-transcoding servers to everyone from HBO Go to Comcast. This makes Elemental an arms dealer in the war over the future of TV.
Mobile data traffic is set to explode, driven by more smartphones and tablets and the incredible growth of video traversing mobile networks. But a new video format is on its way, which could deliver the same high-quality video in half as many bits.
Research firm In-Stat estimates transcoding vendor revenues will top $460 million by 2015, driven by an increase in the number of devices through which consumers can watch video, as well as an increased number of traditional TV programmers making their videos available online.
Amazon is looking to add a new cloud encoding service to its web services portfolio. While creating the new encoding service would fit neatly into its AWS plans, it could also potentially displace some customers who rely on its infrastructure for their own cloud encoding services.
Elemental Technologies, a Portland, OR.-based startup that sells video processing systems used by content companies, has raised $7.5 million…
Video processing startup Elemental Technologies has pulled in a $7.5 million Series B round of financing led by Walt Disney venture arm Steamboat Ventures. Also participating in the round were existing investors General Catalyst and Voyager Capital. Steamboat managing director Scott Hilleboe also joined Elemental’s board.
At the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco yesterday, I interviewed Sam Blackman, co-founder and CEO of Elemental Technologies, about trends on computing and storage costs. Elemental makes software that takes advantage of graphics processors to provide super fast transcoding, which is the process by which video content is formatted for different devices. The idea of storing one copy of a piece of content and formatting it on the fly makes intuitive sense when compared to storing four or five copies of that content and then delivering it only when needed.
But for now the cost of storing multiple copies is actually cheaper than doing the transcoding in real time. That difference in cost has been a barrier keeping some service providers from buying products that offer capabilities such as those of Elemental’s new server, which launched yesterday. However, Blackman believes that will change within the next three years as prices for processing fall faster than the price of storage. A similar trend is enabling people to store more of their data online, rather than on their hard drives. The cost of bandwidth is so low that folks don’t mind either streaming content or looking it up online rather than downloading it and keeping it on their computers. Check out Blackman’s comments in the video below. Read More about Soon It Will Be Cheaper to Compute Than to Cache
Elemental Technologies — aka the smart young startup in Portland that makes video processing better by doing it in parallel — is beta-releasing a video encoding and transcoding server.
In the last year, Elemental has put GPUs (graphics processing units) to work on the non-graphics jobs CPUs (central processing units) normally do, using its breakthrough software to do an awful lot of computing with the GPU processing cores in parallel. After raising $7.1 million in Series A funding last July, the company released the Badaboom video file converter, for consumers, and a professional video processing product called the RapiHD. Badaboom, which costs $30, has already been downloaded 1 million times.
Now, Elemental is taking on a whole new category, by releasing its Elemental Server, which it says can do the job of seven dual quad-core CPU servers while taking up less space, using less power and costing less than half the price. Using the GPU for transcoding can be 5-10 times faster than using the CPU. The server will enable real-time transcoding on-demand, and Elemental already has customers like Brightcove and partners like Adobe (s adbe) on board.
Nvidia’s Nvision conference and celebration of all-things-graphics-processor starts today. As part of the brouhaha, the chipmaker is showcasing about 60 startups building businesses on the back of its GPU, and it’s interesting to see how many of these firms have nothing to do with gaming. As we’ve noted before, visual computing is becoming more important for everyday consumers on their desktops, and GPUs are making inroads into scientific and data intensive computing tasks.
We’ve written about multicore programming on GPUs and using the chips for scientific computing, video encoding and decoding and even chip-design verification. Companies such as Accelereyes, Silicon Informatics, Gauda and Elemental Technologies fit that mold. But some of the more interesting technologies are bringing intensive visuals from gaming and online worlds to the average consumer.
Startups like Bumptop, which is creating a 3-D desktop interface that screams out for touch screens; Cooliris, developers of PicLens visual web site displays; and SpaceTime, which allows for viewing the web in 3-D (it’s like tabbed browsing taken to the next level) all are pushing what people call the 3-D Internet. Other firms such as SeeFront and Spatial View (a SeeFront licensee) enable 3-D displays.
Today, those display products are for gamers or enterprises working with 3-D CAD programs, but if the consumers embrace 3-D desktops and web searches, such displays could appear on computers everywhere. Luckily multi-touch pioneer Perceptive Pixel is also at Nvision to show people how using touch could make such 3-D sites more navigable.
image courtesy of SpaceTime
[qi:_newteevee] Elemental Technologies, a startup focused on faster transcoding, has raised $7.1 million from General Catalyst Partners and Voyager Capital. The company’s software uses the graphics processor rather than the CPU inside a computer to handle the work of ripping a DVD or video file to another format. It’s one of several startups using Nvidia’s GPUs for tasks once allocated to the CPU, and bolstering the idea that GPUs might be better suited than the CPU to some tasks, such as scientific computing or video transcoding. To read more check out our coverage on NewTeeVee.