H.266 Versatile Video Coding (VVC)

HEVC and VVC – Software and Hardware Solutions

Today, compressed video data makes up 80% of the global Internet traffic. However, the trend towards higher-quality and higher-resolution images and videos is accompanied by a steadily growing volume of data. To be able to transmit this data as efficiently as possible, compression needs to be continuously improved. The new video coding standard H.266/Versatile Video Coding (VVC) represents the pinnacle of (at least) four generations of international standards for video coding. It offers improved compression, which reduces data requirements by around 50% of the bit rate relative to the previous standard H.265/High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) without compromising visual quality. This enables faster video transmission for equal perceptual quality.

The previous standards H.264/Advanced Video Coding (AVC) and H.265/HEVC, which were developed with substantial contributions from Fraunhofer HHI, remain active in more than 10 billion end devices, processing over 90% of the total global volume of video bits. Both previous standards were awarded with collectively three Emmy Engineering Awards for contributing substantially to the progress of television technology.

Overall, H.266/VVC provides efficient transmission and storage of all video resolutions from SD to HD up to 4K and 8K, while supporting high dynamic range video and omnidirectional 360° video. Besides Fraunhofer HHI, several well-known industry partners were involved in the development and standardization of the new, joint ITU-T and ISO/IEC standard.

Furthermore, the expertise of Fraunhofer HHI researchers in video coding facilitates the development of software and hardware solutions that fully exploit the compression potential of HEVC and can process UHD videos in real time. In addition, the advanced architecture of HEVC encoders and decoders is both resource-efficient and adaptable to a wide range of application fields. This makes the current generation of HEVC real-time software encoders and decoders by Fraunhofer HHI a world leader. Fraunhofer HHI is also providing encoder and decoder software for the new H.266/VVC video coding standard.