TI DaVinci Technology for the Digital Still Camera Market
By Mike Hanlon
February 24, 2006
February 25, 2006 Giving digital still camera (DSC) manufacturers the benefits of full software programmability with the performance of hard-wired solutions, Texas Instruments today introduced DaVinci technology optimised for the digital still camera market. The technology includes a new highly flexible processor, a software suite that simulates a full digital still camera system and third parties offering camera-specific algorithms.
"Offering DaVinci technology specifically for the digital still camera market underscores our efforts to be more than a chip provider and shows our commitment to this space," said Kanika Ferrell, U.S. marketing manager, digital camera solutions group, TI. "We understand that manufacturers need a partner who is familiar with the entire camera. In fact, TI has a team that built an entire camera system from the ground up allowing us to fully understand the challenges and develop solutions based on this information."
With more than three times the performance of previous processors, cameras using the new processor based on DaVinci technology will offer stunning image quality and allow photographers to take the perfect shot every time. Camera users will now have the ability to combine higher quality images with rapid processing speeds for both still shots and high-definition (HD) video, while still leaving headroom for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to add their own intellectual property.
The processor will support camera resolutions up to 16 megapixels (MP) and offer a high-definition video capture mode greater than 30 frames per second at 720P resolution. OEMs now have the unique ability to capture images using a completely customized software image pipeline or a hard-wired image pipeline with image processing of up to 75 MP/second. HD video can also be captured with instant playback on the camera or on any computer monitor or HD television including DLP(R) HDTVs.
The abundance of processing headroom allows the camera to rapidly perform core features, including shutter lag, boot time and picture playback, that rival D-SLRs (digital-single lens reflex), while also offering advanced features such as: Noise filtering (high ISO 3200), providing stunning pictures in low-light environments. Instant red-eye removal as the shot is captured so consumers never have to experience red-eye. High-quality prints extracted from video so consumers truly capture the perfect shot every time. Video and image stabilization, meaning no more blurred images or jitters. In-camera editing of pictures allowing consumers to edit photos and print directly from the camera, bypassing a PC. The wireless transmission of photos to any PC and instant photo access via email or the Internet at any connected spot
Real-Time Processing with No Hardware Penalty
This highly flexible and innovative processor enables OEMs to quickly, easily and cost-effectively differentiate their products and software without losing the performance usually associated with hard-wired products such as ASICs. In the past, manufacturers who wanted the flexibility of a programmable solution often complained of slow processing capabilities associated with running algorithms in software versus hard-wired gates. This is no longer the case. With this new processor, processing occurs in real time with no delays. Cameras can process high-resolution images real-time and store them directly to the card, with no buffering, in about half the time taken for current solutions on the market. Manufacturers using DaVinci technology can implement their own intellectual property in their digital cameras designs allowing them to provide customized innovations versus their nearest competitors. Additionally, manufacturers can seamlessly embed TI's 802.11 b/g WLAN solution without affecting time to market.
Along with the processor, TI also offers a full software suite which includes peripheral drivers, video and audio codecs, camera-specific algorithms, APIs, chip and board support libraries, GUI development tools and a development framework. In addition, TI engages with third parties who also offer camera-specific algorithms such as red-eye removal software, additional video codecs, operating systems, WLAN/Bluetooth software stacks and more. DaVinci technology optimized for the digital still camera market is available today.
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