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900MHz DSPs eye video surveillance apps

Posted: 23 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DaVinci processors? multichannel video surveillance? video infrastructure?

Texas Instruments Inc. has introduced two new DSPs in its DaVinci line, the TMS320DM647 and TMS320DM648. The new parts target multichannel video surveillance and infrastructure applications, including digital video recorders, IP video servers and machine vision systems. Compared to TI's existing TMS320DM642, the new parts are said to offer a doubling in performance and a lower BOM cost.

Like all DaVinci parts, TMS320DM647 and TMS320DM648 are based on TI's C64x+ DSP core. The DM647 and DM648 run at speeds up to 900MHz, making them the fastest DaVinci parts released to date. (In comparison, the DM642 uses the older C64x core running at 720MHz.) The DM647 and DM648 also use the DaVinci Video and Imaging Coprocessor (VICP)a feature not available in the DM642.

Other major new features include:

?Ten 8bit video ports, which can also be used as five 16bit ports
?A DDR2-533 memory interface
?A GbE MAC with SGMIII that allows the chips to function as a PCI bridge for multiprocessor stems
?A high-speed DMA engine called EDMA 3.0, which allows the processor to manage the numerous high-bandwidth memory and I/O ports
?The new high-speed XDS560 Trace module.

The chip is supported by ObjectVideo's Onboard video analytics software, which performs functions such as monitoring for objects left behind. It is also supported by TI's growing library of video encoders and decoders.

With the introduction of the DM647 and DM648, the DaVinci line now spans a price range from $10 to $70, and performance levels from 300MHz to 900MHz. This is a good thing for TI, because its new chips are entering a crowded field. The DM647 and DM648 will compete with other DSPs, FPGAs, x86-based solutions and solutions from startups like Cradle.

The DM647 and DM648 also strike a nice balance between specialization and flexibility. The chips provide most of the key features needed for applications like video surveillance, but make it easy for developers to add their own features. In contrast, some competing products are highly specialized and are harder to customize. Other solutionsparticularly FPGAsare highly flexible but don't offer much in the way of built-in video features.

TI's size also gives it an advantage over its startup competitors.

Pricing for the TMS320DM647 and the TMS320DM648 starts at $40 in 10,000-unit quantities.

Sampling will begin in June.

- Kenton Williston
DSP DesignLine

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