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Elemental Technologies, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 2006
Headquarters Portland, Oregon (incorporated in Delaware)
 United States
Key people Samuel S. Blackman, Chairman and CEO
Jesse J. Rosenzweig, CTO
Brian G. Lewis, Chief Architect
Industry Video software
Employees 25 (2009)

Elemental Technologies, Inc. is a software company headquartered in Portland, Oregon that specializes in providing massively parallel processing (MPP) solutions. Founded in August 2006, Elemental has focused on using the capabilities of graphics processing units (GPUs) to perform video encoding, decoding, transcoding, and pixel processing tasks on commodity hardware.[1] The company calls its core technology the Elemental video engine.



Elemental was founded in 2006 by three engineers formerly of the semiconductor company Pixelworks: Chairman and CEO Sam Blackman, CTO Jesse Rosenzweig, and Chief Architect Brian Lewis.[2] Doubling in size during 2008, Elemental has moved its headquarters twice to its current location on SW Fifth Avenue in downtown Portland.



Elemental received its initial investments in 2007 in the amount of $1.05 million from three angel funds: the Seattle Alliance of Angels, the Oregon Angel Fund, and the Bend Venture Conference.[3] In July 2008, Elemental announced it had closed its first round of venture capital financing, receiving $5.5 million in investments from General Catalyst Partners of Boston, Massachusetts and Voyager Capital of Seattle, Washington.



BadaBoom logo Vertical.png

On October 23, 2008, Elemental released Badaboom, a consumer media converter, in partnership with NVIDIA Corporation. Badaboom, which runs on the NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, uses Elemental's video engine to transcode video files from several formats, including MPEG2, H.264, HDV, AVCHD, and RAW, into the H.264 format for devices such as the iPod, iPhone, and Sony PSP. The manufacturer claims that the converter enables the user to transcode high-quality video up to 18 times faster than with CPU-only implementations.[4] The CUDA-enabled GPUs, which include the GeForce 8 series and above, Quadro and Tesla, claim several advantages over traditional general purpose GPUs, such as faster downloads and readbacks to and from the GPU, using the standard C language, and exposing a fast shared memory region.

Elemental had previously planned to release both a standard and professional version of Badaboom. However, as specifications became delayed, the company announced it would be releasing only a standard version, adding all of the professional features over time.[5] This received mixed feedback from those who hoped for enhanced capabilities immediately. As it stands today, Badaboom is suited best for converting videos to play on portable devices.

Elemental Accelerator


Released on October 16, 2008 the Elemental Accelerator for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 renders Blu-ray quality AVC/H.264 files using the GPU. The plug-in offloads H.264 encoding while the CPU performs other necessary decoding functions. Previously known as the RapiHD Accelerator, Elemental Accelerator is compatible with the NVIDIA Quadro line of graphics cards, which are positioned as "optimized for Adobe Creative Suite 4."[6] This has received some criticism as users have questioned why the plug-in, which uses Elemental's core technology, does not work with all CUDA-enabled cards. However, NVIDIA, which owns the Elemental Accelerator distribution rights, has defended this by stating that the Quadro line has the best price for performance of all their cards.

In June 2009, Elemental Accelerator was made available for the Mac Operating System and as a standalone software plug-in. Up to this point, the product was Windows-only and could only be acquired upon purchase of a graphics card.

Elemental Server


Citing the explosion of online video growth, Elemental announced in May 2009 that it was taking its core technology to the enterprise level with a product called Elemental Server.[7] Though currently only a beta release, it is the first video server appliance to utilize the graphics processing unit. The company claims its performance equals that of seven dual quad-core CPU servers.[8] Other potential benefits include conversion speed, reduced power usage, less physical space, and overall cost, which is reported to be less than half of a CPU server.[9] Elemental has announced that several companies, including Brightcove, are participating in the beta program. The public release of Elemental Server is targeted for the fall of 2009.

See also


  1. ^ "How it Works". Retrieved 2009-04-24.  
  2. ^ "Pixelworks Invests in Elemental Technologies Inc.". BNET. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2008-08-11.  
  3. ^ Mike Rogoway (2007-12-14). "Elemental Technologies Lands $1M". Retrieved 2008-08-11.  
  4. ^ Bryan Del Rizzo (2008-06-16). "Graphics Evolves Beyond Gaming With New NVIDIA Geforce GTX 200 GPUs". []. Retrieved 2008-08-12.  
  5. ^ "Why Is There No Badaboom Pro?". Elemental Technologies. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-10-12.  
  6. ^ "Press Release: NVIDIA Introduces NVIDIA Quadro CX - The Accelerator For Adobe Creative Suite 4". NVIDIA Corporation. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-21.  
  7. ^ "Elemental Announces Breakthrough New Video Processing System That Harnesses the Power of GPUs for Encoding and Transcoding". Elemental Technologies. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  8. ^ "Elemental Takes Transcoding to the GPU". Contentinople. 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-05-20.  
  9. ^ "Elemental Shakes Up Video Servers With Parallel Processing". NewTeeVee. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2009-05-19.  

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