AMD shows off ViVu wireless display technology

CES 2011: Everthing WiDi isn’t

Fusion LogoAMD IS SHOWING how to do wireless displays right, unlike the broken WiDi from Intel. ViVu, software from a company with the same name, seems to have none of the badly broken bits of WiDi, and a lot more benefits.

ViVu is software, which normally is a down side. This time however, it is Java and Flash based, so it should run on just about anything. Before you fall off the coffee shop chair trying to mouth the words “but my shiny overpriced toy won’t run flash”, there is hope for your toy, but not you. ViVu also has a Java and HTML5 path. HTML5 has latency issues, but for a movie, or video, that shouldn’t matter.

Short story, this will take up to three streams, where have I heard that three monitor thing before, and wirelessly display them on any DLNA target. The wireless is done with standards compliant 802.11n, and uses simple RTP/RSTP streaming. Basically it should work with any DRM infected modern piece of electronics.

The current builds are capable of 720p, but there is an upcoming build that will do the full 1080p. The one catch? You need a decently fast GPU video encode to run it. How fast? Anything with UVD2 or 3, or better yet, any fusion part. ViVu will use the GPU to encode H.264, so welcome to the Fusion/GPGPU world.

Better yet, since it is Java and Flash, Linux is just a recompile away. There isn’t any port now, but ViVu isn’t antagonistic to Linux, so lets hope they get it working soon.

Why is this better than WiDi? Easy enough, Widi is proprietary, needs proprietary hardware, proprietary software, costs an arm and a leg, and is stuck with Windows 7. WiDi is basically a wrapper for Windows 7, and it doesn’t even pass DRM infection keys. Basically it is worthless, broken, and expensive.

If you are in the market for a wireless display technology, skip Intel, go with ViVu. You get a much more standards based service, much better interoperability, updateability, and best of all, it looks like it works. WiDi can’t make a single one of those claims.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate