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2020 Tokyo Olympics streamed in 8K 60FPS, on 4 x Intel Xeon servers

Intel teased its hardware powered the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 8K 60FPS HDR broadcasted using quad Intel Xeon Platinum 8380H servers.

Published Wed, Aug 11 2021 7:47 PM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Sep 13 2021 3:06 AM CDT

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics saw 8K 60FPS HDR video being broadcasted, right up into the cloud -- all powered by Intel Xeon CPUs.

2020 Tokyo Olympics streamed in 8K 60FPS, on 4 x Intel Xeon servers 02 | TweakTown.com

8K 60FPS HDR streams aren't easy, with the encoding servers that Intel provided were powered by 4 x Xeon 8380H processors -- each of these CPUs has 28 cores and 56 threads. Each individual encoding server would then have 112 cores and 224 threads, with a super-fast 480GB Intel Optane 900P SSD and 384GB of DDR4-3200 memory.

All of the 8K 60FPS HDR streaming and decoding was done on the CPU exclusively, with no discrete GPU used. That's a pretty big deal right there. Intel recommended that for 8K playback capability requires an 8K TV -- well, duh -- and HDMI 2.1 connectivity. As for the recommended PC specs for 8K video playback, Intel recommends their in-house Xeon W-2295 processor with 18 cores and 36 threads and 64GB of RAM.

2020 Tokyo Olympics streamed in 8K 60FPS, on 4 x Intel Xeon servers 03 | TweakTown.com

The broadcasts themselves were recorded in 4x12G SDI format with every single second of the Olympics taking up an insane 48GB of storage space, with this being a raw input of uncompressed video with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling with 10-bit color.

From there, this uncompressed video is encoded in two different formats: contribution signal with 4:2:0 subsampling using HEVC 250 Mbps format and distribution signal at 50-100 Mbps with the same subsampling.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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