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PKU project recognized as 2021 World Leading Internet S&T Achievements

OCT . 08 2021
Peking University, October 1, 2021: From September 26 to 28, the 2021 World Internet Conference (WIC) Wuzhen Summit, jointly organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China and Zhejiang provincial government, was held in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province in China. The first day of the conference witnessed the unveiling of fourteen World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological (S&T) Achievements. The project of “Ultra High Definition Video Encoding and Decoding Technology and Its Application”, conducted by Academician Gao Wen and Professor Ma Siwei from the School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science of PKU, was selected as part of the fourteen. Ma introduced the research results of the project at the summit on behalf of the team.
 
 
The Prize Giving Ceremony (Ma Siwei is the first from left)

Themed “Towards a New Era of Digital Civilization: Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace,” this year’s WIC set up 20 sub-forums that highlighted new trends in the development of cutting-edge global network technologies and the new trend of cyberspace governance. The conference discussed a wide range of topics, including “Combat the Epidemic and Restart the Economy” and “Innovation-Driven High-Quality Economic Development”. The discussion reflected the vision of all sectors in the Internet industry on the future development of the Internet and demonstrated China’s approach, wisdom and role in promoting Internet development and governance.
 

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter and stressed that digital civilization should benefit people of all countries and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind

The award ceremony for World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievements presented the latest sci-tech achievements in the global Internet industry. It was designed to demonstrate the wisdom of people working in the Internet industry and establish a platform for innovation and exchange. Garnering the attention of the global Internet industry, the summit received over 300 entries from China, America, Russia, Britain and other countries and areas. The entries focused on five application areas of the Internet, namely industrial empowerment and its coordinated development, public administration of a smart society, public social services, social responsibility for digital public welfare and smart life with high-precision intelligence. These topics covered 5G, quantum computing, high-end chips among other Internet-related sectors.

 

The Summit

 
Visual information accounts for over 80% of human perception of the physical world, and video functions as one of its most important carriers. The breakthrough of the ultra-high-definition (UHD) video technology represents the latest major technological innovation since digitization and high-definition technologies were used in videos. As one of the key applications of 5G technology, it has the potential to become a growth engine in the digital economy. Video encoding and decoding, the basis of the UHD video industry, consists of three sections, namely content production, network transmission and terminal television. Therefore, it is crucial to grasp the UHD video technology of encoding and decoding as well as designing and developing the chips. Through independent research, Peking University has made breakthroughs in the key technology of UHD video encoding and decoding and its system application. It took the lead in the formulation of China’s national standard for UHD video encoding and decoding in the audio-video coding standard (AVS), which was later adopted as an international standard by the global UHD Alliance.


Ma Siwei introducing the project


By analyzing the statistical features of UHD video signals, the PKU team proposed a frame-block-pixel multi-scale, self-adaptive coding approach. As it enables dynamic optimal adaptation of video sources, the technology represents a breakthrough in effective coding of UHD video by solving the efficiency bottleneck using the existing coding method(s). When it comes to high-quality, real-time coding of UHD video with limited computing resources, usually seen as a hard nut to crack, the team established a fine visual Entropy-of-Primitive Model that conforms to visual perception, proposed a complexity-rate-visual distortion self-adaptive, joint-optimization approach, and created a UHD real-time encoder with precise and controllable visual quality that features a multi-granularity parallel system.


“Ultra HD Video Coding and Decoding: Key Technology and System Application”

Based on the achievements of the project, the PKU team established a complete industrial chain that incorporated technological standards, chip terminal and system application. Its research results have won the best paper awards of the international conference journals in the multimedia field many times. HiSilicon, a Chinese fabless semiconductor company, developed and sold hundreds of millions of AVS standard chips. Intelligence developed by Chinese companies Hisense and Skyworth, which keeps up with the AVS standard, has brought high-quality UHD enjoyment to global customers. It has also partnered with hundreds of institutions, including the National Radio and Television Administration of China and CCTV. Thanks to the cutting-edge technology, dozens of big events were able to provide UHD live streaming, such as the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and the 8K UHD Live Broadcasting of CCTV Spring Festival Gala 2021. Moreover, in response to the Belt and Road Initiative, it has been extensively applied in areas including East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, southern Europe and eastern Africa.

This year’s WIC attracted a total of nearly 2,000 onsite and online participants from over 80 countries and areas. It displayed the latest achievements of the Internet technology, with an emphasis on creating a better future together through digital empowerment. Keeping in mind the key technological achievements of UHD video encoding and decoding, Peking University will, further the industry-university-research cooperation so as to continually enhance its competitiveness with the key technologies in the UHD era.

Written by:
Zhou Siyan
Edited by: Ng Joong Hwee
Source: PKU News (Chinese)