AWS Cloud Digital Interface

Reliably transport uncompressed live video between applications

AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI) is a network technology that allows you to transport high-quality uncompressed video inside the AWS Cloud, with high reliability and network latency as low as 8 milliseconds. You can use AWS CDI to build live video workflows that connect select AWS Media Services, products from AWS Partners, and offerings from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). Workloads that require high-performance connectivity and uncompressed live video have historically been deployed on-premises using Serial Digital Interface (SDI) connections. AWS CDI lets you build similar workloads across compute instances and services in the AWS Cloud by providing a reliable, high-performance, and interoperable way of transporting uncompressed video.

Examples of distributed, multi-vendor applications that can use AWS CDI include TV channel playout, live video production switching, motion graphic insertion, multi-viewer applications, video frame rate and color space conversion, forensic watermarking, and video decoding and encoding. AWS CDI is based on existing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) features available on high-performance instance types. You can get started by downloading the AWS CDI Software Development Kit (SDK) and integrating its capabilities into your products.


Transport video with latency as low as 8 milliseconds

AWS CDI is designed to transport live video between Amazon EC2 instances with transport latency as low as 8 milliseconds, which is less than one frame for 60 frames per second video. AWS CDI enables you to deploy live video solutions across multiple EC2 instances and AWS Media Services without compromising latency and quality requirements.

Build scalable, uncompressed video solutions

AWS CDI supports uncompressed video up to Ultra-High Definition (UHD) 4K resolution at 60 frames per second so you can build high-quality live video solutions in the cloud. AWS CDI combines the scalability and agility of AWS with the raw performance of on-premises standards, such as Serial Digital Interface (SDI) or SMPTE 2110.

Connect products and create live video workflows

AWS CDI leverages an audio, video, and metadata schema that facilitates interoperability and communication between applications, including between products from different vendors and AWS Partners. This schema is defined in the AWS CDI SDK, which can be easily integrated into software packages, allowing applications to interoperate with products and solutions from other vendors, AWS Partners, and select AWS Media Services.

How it works

Developer resources

Getting Started with the AWS CDI SDK

Get started quickly integrating AWS CDI capabilities into your application.

Download the AWS CDI SDK

Download and learn more about the AWS CDI SDK.

Blog posts, videos, and webinars

Blog Post

AWS debuts Cloud Digital Interface (CDI)

Introducing AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI), a network technology for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and AWS Partners building reliable, live video applications in the cloud.

Paul Cheesbrough of FOX on Using AWS to Modernize and Innovate (1:51)

FOX CTO Paul Cheesbrough talks about the opportunity FOX has had to re-imagine itself after selling 21st Century Fox to Disney.

FOX Pioneers Content Workflows, Including Uncompressed Video, with AWS (1:07)

Joel Williams, Vice President of Architecture & Engineering at FOX Corporation, explains how FOX uses AWS services to transform its media workflows.


What is AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI)?

Transport of uncompressed video with minimal latency between products and services is critical for building many live video workflows. AWS Cloud Digital Interface (CDI) is a technology that gives you the network performance and uncompressed video capabilities required to build live video workflows. AWS CDI, through the use of advanced networking technologies, is designed to provide the lowest latency possible. With AWS CDI, you can deploy live video solutions running across compute instances and services in the AWS Cloud.

What is the AWS CDI SDK?

The AWS CDI SDK is a set of libraries and documentation for customers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and AWS Partners to build live video solutions on AWS. Available in both Windows and Linux versions, the SDK contains interfaces that video professionals will find intuitive and familiar and can be integrated into software implementations compatible with the C language. Once integrated, you can quickly and reliably transfer uncompressed live video between Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) enabled Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance types deployed within a single Availability Zone (AZ). If you need to develop a distributed live video application that runs across multiple compute instances and that can interoperate with products from other vendors, integrating the CDI SDK into your software application can give you the tools and performance you need.

What operating systems can I use with AWS CDI?

AWS CDI uses Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) to enable low-latency, reliable connectivity between EC2 instances. EFA is available on several EC2 instance types and can be used with both Linux and Windows operating systems.

How does AWS CDI enable reliable, high-bandwidth video transport?

AWS CDI optimizes the network path used for uncompressed video inside the AWS network. To achieve high performance, AWS CDI relies on features available in certain Amazon EC2 instance types. The EC2 instances must support Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) and the Scalable Reliable Datagram (SRD) protocol. In addition, AWS placement groups, a feature that influences the way EC2 instances are deployed within an AZ, can be used to enable AWS CDI applications to get the low-latency network performance necessary for tightly coupled node-to-node communication. For more information on the instance types required by AWS CDI, read the  EFA documentation.

What are Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) and Scalable Reliable Datagram (SRD)?

EFA is a network interface custom built by AWS that provides operating system (OS) bypass capabilities to Amazon EC2 instances, enabling customers to run applications with low-latency, high-throughput inter-node communications at scale. To learn more about EFA, please visit the EFA documentation. SRD is a network transport protocol used by EFA that optimizes networking traffic over the AWS network using multi-path congestion control algorithms to provide low-jitter and high-reliability traffic.

How much does the AWS CDI SDK cost?

The AWS CDI SDK is available as an open source project that can be downloaded here. It is released under the 2-clause BSD license.

Does the AWS CDI SDK collect metrics?

When the AWS CDI SDK is integrated into a video application running on Amazon EC2, it collects certain metrics related to network traffic performance. The metrics are used to improve the quality of AWS products and services and can help us diagnose and resolve support issues. The AWS CDI SDK does not collect network traffic content, such as the video or audio you transfer. You can also configure the AWS CDI SDK so that the same metrics are sent to the Amazon CloudWatch dashboard in your own AWS account. For more information, including instructions on how to disable collection of performance metrics, see “Performance metrics in the AWS SDI CDK” in the documentation.

Is support for AWS CDI available in AWS Media Services?

Yes. AWS Elemental MediaLive, a cloud-based live video encoding service, supports AWS CDI inputs to enable uncompressed video sources for creating high-quality outputs. AWS CDI is also supported in AWS Elemental MediaConnect. You can build uncompressed video workflows in the cloud using MediaConnect CDI flows to link different products and services together into a live cloud production system. MediaConnect CDI flows support uncompressed video transport up to UHD 2160p60 at a latency between nodes of only one frame.

AWS continues to evaluate extending support for AWS CDI capabilities to other AWS Media Services.