Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Softlogic 6010 4/8/16 Channel MPEG-4 Codec Card Driver Released

As I've talked about before, the company I work for has been dedicated to producing stable video surveillance products based on Linux.

Bluecherry's primary device for their video surveillance applications is the Softlogic based MPEG-4 codec card, which is available in 4, 8 and 16 channel models. The original driver for this card, although available as Open Source, was pretty pathetic to say the least. Most of it was just a kludge of the Windows driver, exposing all of the functionality, but with little effort to make it Linux savvy.

That's where I came in. I've since rewritten the driver so that it makes use of Linux's Video4Linux2 and Alsa driver API's. It's currently 90% functional, and many times more efficient than the original OEM driver.

Here is a quick run-down of some of the features and plus-ones against the original driver:

  • Video4Linux2 interface allows easy use of existing capture software
  • Alsa interface allows for easy audio capture (however, see G.723 caveats from my previous posts)
  • Zero-copy in the driver. The original driver DMA'd and then copied the MPEG frames to userspace. The new driver makes use of v4l2 buffers and can DMA directly to an MMAP buffer for userspace.
  • Simultaneous MPEG/MJPEG feed per channel, selectable via v4l2 format
  • Standard v4l2 uncompressed video YUV display with multi-channel display format (4-up)

Now that the driver is nearing completion, it's about time to release it. I've done so via Launchpad.

If you are on an Ubuntu system, you can install the DKMS package from the PPA archive using these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ben-collins/solo6x10
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install solo6010-dkms

Note, I've only supplied this for Lucid right now, but if you download the .deb or the .tar.gz you should be able to install it on any recent kernel.


  1. How about HW-accelerated VP8? It would be so nice to stream HTML5 compatible WebM with ease...

  2. #VP8 From what I can tell, VP8 isn't defined well enough yet to invest in a hardware encoder.

  3. Magic word there...yet... I'm happy that you guys did this. Makes my life easier on some projects.

  4. I read your article on planet ubuntu and found it half an hour later on slashdot :x

  5. Awesome, so will this be merged for 2.6.36?