tl;dr: dav1d has now a first release

If you want a quick summary of this post, about our AV1 decoder:

  • dav1d is good enough that it has an official release,
  • dav1d now covers all the spec and features of AV1 (including 12bits),
  • dav1d is very fast on modern desktop and it is getting faster on mobile chips.

Read the following for more details...

A few reminders about dav1d

If you follow this blog, you should know everything about dav1d.

AV1 is a new video codec by the Alliance for Open Media, composed of most of the important Web companies (Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft, Mozilla...).

AV1 has the potential to be up to 20% better than the HEVC codec, but the patents license is totally free, while HEVC patents licenses are insanely high and very confusing.

The reference decoder for AV1 is great, but it's a research codebase, so it has a lot to improve.

Therefore, the VideoLAN, VLC and FFmpeg communities have started to work on a new decoder, sponsored by the Alliance of Open Media, in order to create the reference optimized decoder for AV1.


Today, we release the first usable version of dav1d, called 0.1.0, Gazelle.
It means you can use the API, ship the decoder, and expect a bit of support on it.

We launched dav1d, more than 2 months ago, during VDD, and we've been working a lot since:

  • we support all the features of AV1, even the less known ones,
  • we support, 8, 10, 12 bits, and all chroma subsamplings,
  • we support all AV1 files that were shared to us,
  • we spent a lot of time to make dav1d very fast, while keeping the binary size manageable.

On modern desktop, dav1d is very fast, compared to other decoders:

You can see more details on my previous post.

More performance to come.

But, since the previous blogpost, we've added more assembly for desktop, and we've merged some assembly for ARMv8, and for older machines (SSSE3).

We're now as fast as libaom, in single-thread, on ARMv8, and faster with more threads.

We've been also merging more SSSE3 code. (I haven't had enough time to bench it).
Which means that we will soon be faster than other decoders, on all platforms.

And, we've been experimenting with shaders, notably for the Film Grain feature.

Get it

You can get the tarball on our FTP: dav1d 0.1.0.

You can get the code and report issues on our gitlab project.

You can also join the project, or sponsor our work, by contacting me :)