Google's YouTube Introduces Second Generation Argos Chip for Better Video Quality and Cut Down Network Use

Google has developed a custom chip to keep YouTube running which is called Argos. The chip works to serve the purpose of to deliver the best video quality and to prevent you from blowing through your broadband or data limit.

Google gave details about this new chip in the ASPLOS Conference and offered a little glimpse into its data centers' inner workings for the first time. According to the company, the first google chip was designed in 2015 by 100 Google engineers and in the recent months Google has started designing the second generation Argos chip which will be designed to push video compression another step forward.

Scott Silver, the Google vice president of engineering who oversees YouTube's massive infrastructure said in an interview that the company’s goal through this chip is to make sure people can get the highest quality video on whatever device they have. Thousands of chips are running on Google’s data center currently and the Argos chip will make your online experience on YouTube more convenient. One example on this which was given by the company is that if you upload a video today, it's almost certain that an Argos chip will process it so it can be streamed all over the world. One specific benefit: when it processes high-resolution 4K video, it can be available to watch in hours instead of the days it previously took.

The company has claimed that creating a chip is certainly not an easy task but considering how all big tech giants like Apple are also working towards it along with the advancement in technology shows how important a chip is now in this era.

The Argos will help both the company and users in various stages like YouTube uploads 500 hours of videos per minute and that means Google has a lot to transcode throughout the day, converting those original uploaded videos into different compression formats and adapting it for different screen sizes but now Google’s new chip will take up this job and make life easier.

In general purpose chips it is hard to improve performances but custom chips also let companies push their own computing priorities. Similarly, that means Google can lower the costs with Argos keep YouTube users happier and advance its preferred video technology. This chip offers video coding unit due to which a video boost by 25 percent was observed during the pandemic.

This new chip will help lower the resolution of high resolution videos because at times when people watch videos on their mobile phones or do not have a relatively stable internet the high resolution will make the videos buffer and hence by lowering the quality through this chip, users will have a better video experience.

The chip has improved the working by boosting AV1 Compressions in videos as well and the second-generation Argos chip adds AV1 support, a major incentive for phone makers to add support and through this YouTube will be breaking the major chicken and egg problem of chips and devices having decoders without the streams.


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