Gary Joseph Sullivan (born 1960) is an American electrical engineer who led the development of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and HEVC video coding standards and created the DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) API/DDI video decoding feature of the Microsoft Windows operating system.
He was the chairman of the Joint Video Team (JVT) standardization committee that developed the H.264/AVC standard, and he personally edited large portions of it. Since January 2010, he has been a co-chairman of the Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) and an editor for developing the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard, and since July 2012 has been co-chairman of the Joint Collaborative Team on 3D Video (JCT-3V) that works on standardization of 3D video coding. He has also led and contributed to a number of other video and image related standardization projects such as extensions of ITU-T H.263 video coding and the standardization of JPEG XR image coding, and has published research work on various topics relating to video and image compression.
Sullivan was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended the Ascension and St. Margaret Mary elementary schools and Trinity High School, graduating in 1978. He received B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Louisville J. B. Speed School of Engineering, Kentucky, in 1982 and 1983, respectively. He received Ph.D. and Engineer degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1991.
Sullivan holds the position of Video and Image Technology Architect at Microsoft Corporation. At Microsoft he also designed and remains lead engineer for the DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) API/DDI video decoding feature of the Microsoft Windows operating system platform. His DXVA designs include decoding acceleration schemes for H.261, MPEG-1 Part 2, H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2, H.263, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10: AVC, Windows Media Video versions 8 and 9, VC-1, Scalable Video Coding, Multiview Video Coding, and HEVC.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 1999, he was the manager of communications core research at PictureTel Corporation, the former world leader in videoconferencing communication. He was previously a Howard Hughes Fellow and member of technical staff in the Advanced Systems Division of Hughes Aircraft Company, and a terrain-following radar system software engineer for Texas Instruments.
Recognitions and awards for Sullivan (and the projects he has led in the standardization community) have included the following:
- Best Paper Award of IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, 2013 (together with Jens-Rainer Ohm, Woo-Jin Han, and Thomas Wiegand)
- IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award (together with Gisle Bjøntegaard and Thomas Wiegand), 2012.
- Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) for achievements in video and image compression technologies, 2009.
- J. B. Speed Professional Award in Engineering, 2009.
- Paired Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards – one awarded to VCEG and one to MPEG by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for development of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard, 2009.
- Primetime Emmy Engineering Award – awarded to the JVT standards committee by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for development of the High Profile of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, 2008.
- International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) Leadership award, 2008.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Consumer Electronics Engineering Excellence Award, 2008.
- Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to video coding and its standardization, 2006.
- The video coding work of the ITU-T led by Sullivan for the preceding ten years was voted as the most influential area of the standardization work of the CCITT and ITU-T in their 50-year history, 2006.
- Technical Achievement award of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) for his work on H.264/MPEG-4 AVC and other video standardization topics, 2005.
- CSVT Transactions – Best Paper Award, IEEE Circuits and Systems Society web site.
- Rob Knies; Microsoft Research (2011). "Video Architect, Microsoft Research Collaborator Wins IEEE Award". Retrieved 2011-08-30.
- Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (2009). "SPIE Fellows: 59 New SPIE Fellows Elected". Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Communication Society (2011). "IEEE CCNC Panelist biographies". Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2008). "Honorees Announced for 60th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards". Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Dolby Laboratories (2008-08-21). "Dolby Congratulates the Joint Video Team Standards Committee on Its 2008 Primetime Emmy for Developing the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2008). "Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announces Recipients for the 2008 Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards". Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (2008). "IMTC Leadership and Service Awards". Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2008). "Recipients of the IEEE International Symposium on Consumer Electronics Engineering Excellence Award". Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Magazine, Volume 39, Issue 2, Feb. 2006, pp. 79-83 (2008). "IEEE Announces 2006 Fellows" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-04-21.
- ITU-T Newslog (2006). "Video Coding Work Voted Most Influential".
- International Committee on Technology Standards (2005). "INCITS Awards Honor Roll".
Sullivan has held the following chairmanships in video coding standardization organizations:
- Rapporteur/chairman of the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) – since 1996.
- Chairman and co-chairman of the video part of the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) – chairman March 2001 – May 2002, co-chairman since May 2002.
- Chairman and co-chairman of the Joint Video Team (JVT) – chairman for the development of the next generation H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video coding standard and its fidelity-range extensions (FRExt), and co-chairman for the development of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) and Multiview Video Coding (MVC) extensions.
- Co-chairman of Joint Collaborative Team on Video Coding (JCT-VC) for developing the High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard – since January 2010.
- Co-chairman of Joint Collaborative Team on 3D Video Coding (JCT-3V) for developing 3D extensions of video coding standards – July 2012 (group closed June 2016).
- Co-chairman of the Joint Video Exploration Team (JVET) for future video coding technology investigation – since October 2015.
- Liaison representative to MPEG and JPEG from ITU-T on video and image coding topics.
The JVT, JCT-VC, and JCT-3V have been joint projects between the VCEG and MPEG organizations.