Google funding ARM optimised version of Theora
Google is funding development of Theorarm, a Theora video decoder for ARM processors. The funding, in the form of a grant, has allowed Robin Watts, the UK based Theorarm developer, to release the previously GPL licensed project under the same BSD license as other Theora code. Details of the funding came in a post by Watts on the Google Open Source Blog.
Theorarm has been optimised for ARM processors with an eye on making it as efficient as possible. ARM processors are found in many battery powered mobile devices and the more efficient video playback is, the less power consumed, resulting in longer battery life. Theorarm can run on ARM4 processors, but can benefit from later revisions of the ARM line. Watts says that Google's grant is helping to "hasten the day when video works everywhere on the web, for everyone".
Chris di Bona, Google's Open Source Programs Manager, who once said "If YouTube were to switch to Theora and maintain even a semblance of the current YouTube quality it would take up most available bandwidth across the internet", said in the comments that his office was funding the Theorarm development. "We are happy to do what we could to help free codecs in the internet", but he added that he feels that Theora, compared to later codecs, "still uses a lot more bandwidth for a similar quality stream".