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Q&A on 4K Enciris Empowered API

In this interview we talk to Enciris CEO, Phillip Weissfloch and Principal Engineer, Remi about the Enciris Empowered API that powers the new range of 4K products including Capture Cards (frame Grabbers) and Camera Components.

Can you tell us about the background of the creation of a new API?

Phillip “When we started out working on our new 4K series, we realized fairly early on that we needed a new API concept to be able to manage all the new features that we had added. With up to 4 parallel inputs to manage, a latency-free output with overlay, as well as compositing, we wanted our customers to be able to access these features easily to make our hardware more accessible.”

And what were the main technology drivers?

Remi “We had seen quite a lot of implementations of our LT-100 family and learned a lot about what functionality the customers most often require. We began to work on some concepts based on a RESTful API. REST stands for representational state transfer which is an architectural style using internet-like URL’s to provide a lightweight way to integrate high levels of scalability and efficiency for developers. We knew pretty much from the start that we wanted to go in this direction. We also had the idea that we wanted to allow easy display of live content on the screen as well as recordings, and still captures, wherever possible by using single commands.”

And what type of obstacles did you had to overcome?

Phillip “One of the main challenges was that we wanted to create the API with just three core commands, such that customer integration phase would be easier from an Engineering standpoint. At the same time, we wanted to integrate native support for multiple different languages including Python, C++, C Sharp and GoLang. In addition, we also wanted multi-platform and multi-architecture support; with Windows & Linux both on Intel X86, AMD64 and ARM64 Architectures also supporting Quick Sync, AMD and NVIDIA graphics engines. Added to all of this, we also wanted a way that Engineers could try out the new commands before they started programming, so they could get familiar with the API without actually having to start off in a programming environment”

Interesting, quite a list! and in terms of implementation how did you achieve this all?

Remi “We created the API to be both simpler and highly intuitive, based on the three targeted main commands. We made it accessible both in the programming environments and also via a simple Command Line Interface (CLI). The API runs as a service and provides the backbone for all the various native programming interfaces (C++, C Sharp, Python and GoLang), and the CLI means that you can also just type the commands in at the command-line in Windows or Linux to be able to see how each command works. This allows Engineers to start working straight away on their integration, without having the overhead of starting their evaluation inside a set of programming tools. In addition, we created a demo application in Windows and Linux that provides access to all the main required functions. This allows customers to be able to evaluate our 4K products faster using a visual interface. We also added support for Quick Sync, AMD and NVIDIA, such that there is no additional work to do”

Were there any other architectural features you wanted to integrate?

Remi “Yes, indeed. We wanted to also have unlimited clients, so that customers could have multiple different concurrent programs (or consumers) for the incoming video data. We wanted these consumers to have access to the data at the operating system level without having to copy it each time in memory.”

Phillip ”Another aspect we wanted to provide was onboard PCI-express DMA and parallel pipeline processing, such that we could continue to push the envelope in terms of ultra-low latency capture. We have a lot of positive feedback about our low-latency being useful in the Operating Room, and we wanted to continue this tradition in our 4K products.”

Thank you. Any summary comments?

Phillip “Sure, to sum up we took nearly everything we learned over 18 years and integrated this into our latest API. This has made our hardware both faster and more accessible.”

Got question, or want to know more? Reach out to us today. Call +33 5 82 95 09 55.

About Enciris

Enciris Products are Engineered and built in France. The Enciris story started in 2006 with a vision to make a range of accessible high performance video capture products using the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

The company has evolved to become a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance video processing hardware for OEMs, system integrators, embedded systems, and professional users. Enciris provides solutions for customers to add Ultra HD 4K/Full HD camera technology, video acquisition, hardware compression, video routing, video format conversion, video overlay, video streaming and storage capabilities.

We design both off-the-shelf and customized solutions for Long Term Availability (LTA) and ultra-high reliability.

Enciris is an ISO9001:2015 company.

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