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Cisco Debuts Thor in Video Codec Fight

August 19, 2015 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Light Reading

Hoping a little superhero power will win the day, Cisco has introduced project Thor, an initiative to create a royalty-free video codec as an alternative to the industry standard H.265. H.265, which is also known by the name High Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), has been widely expected to pave the way for next-generation television formats like Ultra HD (UHD) TV. However, recent concerns over licensing fees have put a damper on HEVC enthusiasm.

With an eye toward keeping licensing costs in line, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has released the code for its project Thor codec. This is not a ready-for-use technology, but a project still under development, with Cisco looking for further input. Not only has the company open sourced the code, but it's also shared its work directly with the NetVC workgroup under the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). NetVC is also aiming to develop a new royalty-free video codec and is accepting contributions from experts in the industry. Mozilla is another active member in the group and has contributed its technology called Daala.

In addition to the Thor code, Cisco has built a patent analysis process designed to help the development work avoid collision with other patents in the space.

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