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Fujitsu enables one-third image compression rate in cars

Posted: 26 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SmartCODEC? image codec? image codecs? IDB-1394? digital imaging transmission?

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd announced an image compression technology for automotive use that complies with the IDB-1394 (ITS Data Bus-1394) standard for in-vehicle digital imaging transmission system networks.

The SmartCODEC technology features a compression rate of one-third (1/3), and a compression-decompression time of 2 to 3ms that enables compression and multiplex transmission of images to inside the vehicle. In addition to assisting facilitation of safer driving through these functions, said the press release, this new technology also makes it possible to reduce the amount of cable required within the vehicle to achieve fast and high-quality image transmission of multiple images.

Technological challenges
Even with the IDB-1394 image transmission standard (featuring transmission speeds of 400Mbps), bandwidth is insufficient for uncompressed transmission of multiple images, and therefore there is a need for image compression technology. Fujitsu said that by developing technology such as SmartCODEC for automotive use, it has entailed overcoming three challenges: making low-cost packaging for each compression and decompression channel; achieving a transmission delay time of less than 30ms for surveillance cameras used when the vehicle is being driven; and achieving clear reproduction of letters and lines on images transmitted for car navigation systems.

Light weight, minimal delay time and high image quality
The SmartCODEC is a compression technology that offers as an industry's first, three features unavailable in conventional technology for in-vehicle image transmission: light weight, minimal delay time and high image quality. In order to lighten the circuitry, the compression ratio was limited to one-third, and a differential pulse code modulation (DPCM) scheme featuring simple structures was adopted. In addition, in order to clearly reproduce camera images and the edges of letters and lines on the navigation system, the modulation level is optimized at the pixel unit. By encoding pixels in groups of two, the processing speed was accelerated without increasing the basic clock speed, enabling minimal delay time.

The SmartCODEC technology is scheduled to be commercialized in early 2007.




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