Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games broadcast in 8K 60FPS, on 4 Intel Xeon servers
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw streaming 8K 60FPS HDR video, straight to the cloud, all powered by Intel Xeon processors.
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8K 60FPS HDR streams are not easy, as the encoding servers provided by Intel were powered by 4 Xeon 8380H processors – each of these processors has 28 cores and 56 threads. Each individual encoding server would then have 112 cores and 224 threads, with an ultra-fast 480 GB Intel Optane 900P SSD and 384 GB of DDR4-3200 memory.
All HDR 8K 60FPS streaming and decoding was done on the CPU exclusively, with no discrete GPU used. It’s a big problem there. Intel recommended that 8K playback capability requires an 8K TV – well, duh – and HDMI 2.1 connectivity. As for the recommended PC specs for 8K video playback, Intel recommends its internal Xeon W-2295 processor with 18 cores and 36 threads and 64 GB of RAM.
The shows themselves were recorded in 4x12G SDI format, with every second of the Olympics taking up insane 48GB of storage space, this was raw uncompressed video input with 4 chroma subsampling: 2: 2 with 10-bit color.
From there, this uncompressed video is encoded in two different formats: contribution signal with 4: 2: 0 downsampling using HEVC 250Mbps format, and distribution signal at 50-100Mbps with the same downsampling.