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Low-cost DaVinci packs increased encoding power

Posted: 05 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DaVinci processor? H.264 low-cost? processing video?

Texas Instruments Inc. has announced the TMS320DM365, the first low-cost DaVinci processor to support H.264 encoding at 1,080p. In addition to the increased encoding power, the DM365 features an image signal processing (ISP) engine with face recognition and other intelligent video processing capabilities. The DM356 also includes new peripherals that can drive system cost down by as much as 25 percent.

The DM365 is optimized for video security applications by supporting 1,080p H.264 at 10fps. This profile provides the high resolution and low bit rates needed for camera applications. The device also supports MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MJPEG and VC1 codecs. For example, it supports 1,080p MPEG-4 at 24fps and 720p MPEG-4 at 30fps. These profiles make the DM356 suitable for applications such as multichannel DVRs, digital signage and personal media players.

The ISP offers a variety of pre-processing capabilities including face detection, noise filtering, video stabilization, auto white balance, auto focus, auto exposure and edge enhancement. The face detection capability is particularly notable, as it enables innovative applications. In a digital signage application, for example, face recognition can be used to detect viewers and display relevant content. The ISP is also notable for its ability to compensate for optics problems. This feature allows designers to use low-quality, inexpensive optics.

Other DM365 features include:

??ARM926EJ-S core running at either 270MHz or 300MHz;
??Peripherals including EMAC, USB 2.0 PHY, 16bit DDR2, voice codecs, real-time clock and three 10bit DACs;
??Royalty-free, production-ready codec bundles (MP3, G.711, H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG), and premium audio and video bundles (AAC, WMA and AEC, MPEG-2, VC1/WMV9);

The TMX320DM365 is sampling now and is priced at $37.85 (100 units). TI also offers the TMDXEVM365 evaluation module for $595. This board comes with a MontaVistaPro 5.0 Linux BSP. The board is scheduled to get Windows Embedded CE support and eSOL RTOS support in the second half of the year.

- Kenton Williston
DSP DesignLine

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