AV1 video decoder verification tool

Argon Streams AV1 is a comprehensive verification tool that provides extensive coverage and verification of video decoders implementing AV1. It consists of two parts: a set of test streams, and all the source code necessary to create a new set of streams.

The Argon Streams compiler uses a mathematical model to generate a set of bitstreams that seeks to span the entire space of valid AV1 bitstreams. Here is an example of a frame from one of the test streams:

av1 bitstreams test streams

Test Bitstreams

argon streams file (7GB zip file)

MD5 of argon streams file

A set of test bitstreams for AV1 video decoders generated based on formal verification techniques that offers designers comprehensive test coverage of their decoder directly against the AV1 specification.

Most of the bitstreams consist of a short sequence of between 5 and 20 frames; this improves the execution speed during simulation and allows rapid pinpointing of the non-conformances in an implementer’s decoder design. MD5 digests of the output YUV files are provided to verify that the output is correct.

av1 bitstreams generator schema

Bitstream Generator

Bitstream Generator Gitlab project.

The Gitlab project includes all the code required to create a new set of test bitstreams that can be freely adapted to support verification for future video standards.

Also included is an interactive coverage report, which demonstrates which parts of the specification have been exercised by which test bitstreams. It includes a complete copy of the AV1 specification, and for every equation links a bitstream which exercises it. This includes complete coverage of every equation in the core specification, every transition in the arithmetic coding engine, every extreme value in the pixel processing pipeline, and all video resolutions in the standard.

Development Background

The Argon Streams family of video verification tools was originally developed and sold by Argon Design, a Cambridge (UK)-based high technology design services consultancy. Argon Design was acquired by Broadcom in 2019, and in 2021 Broadcom’s Cambridge team transferred to Graphcore. Graphcore and Broadcom have agreed to open-source the Argon Streams AV1 product:

It is enormously gratifying to be able to release this state-of-the-art tool on an open-source basis to support the ongoing growth of the AV1 codec ecosystem.

Steve Barlow - formerly Argon Design’s CTO and now part of Graphcore’s engineering team.

The Alliance for Open Media expresses our thanks to Graphcore and Broadcom for their generosity in making this resource available to the community