Video Codec Unit

Multimedia User Guide (UG1449)

Document ID
Release Date
1.7 English

The H.264/H.265 Video Codec Unit (VCU) is an integrated block in the PL of Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC EV devices. Unlike software codecs, the VCU in Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC EV devices provides low-power, high-performance compression and decompression of H.264/H.265 video data. This makes it an ideal candidate for real-time streaming of Ultra High Definition (UHD) videos on the network, where it can save a considerable amount of storage and network bandwidth.

VCU support for both H.264 and H.265 standards provides a compelling capability to develop solutions in line with current market needs (H.264), as well as advance-generation requirements (H.265). The ability to encode and decode simultaneously with low latency makes it a perfect fit for video conferencing and transcoding from H.264 to H.265 or vice-versa. Multistream, multicodec encoding and decoding suits the requirement for video surveillance applications such as DVRs, video servers, and multistream IP camera head-ends.

VCU Higlights

  • Multi-standard encoding/decoding support, including:
    • ISO MPEG-4 Part 10: Advanced Video Coding (AVC)/ITU H.264
    • ISO MPEG-H Part 2: High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)/ITU H.265
    • HEVC: Main, Main Intra, Main 10, Main10 Intra, Main 4:2:2 10, Main 4:2:2 10 Intra up to Level 5.1 High Tier
    • AVC: Baseline, Main, High, High10, High 4:2:2, High10 Intra, High 4:2:2 Intra up to Level 5.2
  • Support simultaneous encoding and decoding of up to 32 streams with a maximum aggregated bandwidth of 3840x2160 at 60fps
  • Low latency rate control
  • Flexible rate control: Constant Bit Rate (CBR), Variable Bit Rate (VBR), and Constant Quantization Parameter (QP)
  • Supports simultaneous encoding and decoding up to 4K UHD resolution at 60 Hz
    Important: 4k (3840x2160) video, and lower resolutions are supported in all speed grades. However, 4K UHD (4096x2160) requires -2 or -3 speed grade.
  • Supports 8K UHD video at reduced frame rate (~15 Hz)
  • Progressive support for H.264/H.265 and Interlace support for H.265
  • Video input: YCbCr 4:2:2, YCbCr 4:2:0, and Y-only (monochrome), 8- and 10-bit per color channel

For VCU Codec features, see VCU Codec Features.

For more information on VCU Encoder only and Decoder only configuration, see Design Flow Steps in H.264/H.265 Video Codec Unit LogiCORE IP Product Guide (PG252).