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HD video processor offers face detection

Posted: 17 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video processor? multimedia application? codec?

CEVA Inc. has introduced the MM3000 software-programmable multimedia video processor architecture, which comes complete with C compilers, power management provision and an RTOS/multithreading scheduler. The architecture is intended to be able to process any and all video codecs up to the highest resolutions and frame rates currently available as well as future codecs for things like 3D video.

In addition the architecture has been constructed with video analysis in mind, including such things as: augmented reality, gesture recognition, face detection and recognition, facial expressions recognition and object detection.

This is a major undertaking and the result of four years work, said Eran Briman, VP of marketing at CEVA. "For most cellphones the video processing is a requirement but video analytics in real-time is a way OEMs can differentiate," Briman said. In the area of video codecs there are many standards, with more on the horizon, Briman said. In the area of video post-processing there are no standards, he added. Either way it makes software programmability a necessitybut so too is power efficiency.

And lest it thought that recognizing emotions in a video captured with a smart phone is an unnecessary sophistication CEVA conceives of the MM3000 as a video processing engine for every high-definition application, from smart phones, via computers to games consoles and DTVs.

At MWC CEVA plans to demonstrate the MM3000 architecture implemented in an Altera FPGA with a Nios processor providing housekeeping support.

Stream, vector processors
The licensable IP occupies about one million gates and requires 128Kbyte on-chip memory. It has been designed with a 40nm process target in mind and at less than 250MHz clock frequency the architecture supports H.264 HP, 1080p, 30fps decoding at less than 150mW power consumption.

"Consumers' appetite for higher video quality and enhanced functionality is seemingly insatiable. CEVA-MM3000 is a flexible, scalable and robust software-based platform capable of addressing these requirements in consumer devices. Uniquely, it contradicts conventional wisdom that implementing a video engine supporting 1080p requires a hardware design," said Joseph Byrne, analyst at The Linley Group, in a statement issued by Ceva.

The platform delivers 1080p encode and decode, supporting standards H.264, VC1, Real Video, AVS, VP6/7/8, as well as future standards such as SVC (Scalable Video Codec) and MVC (Multi-view Video Codec, for 3D video). CEVA-MM3000 also readily supports both video and image pre/post processing algorithms such as scaling, stabilizer, and noise reduction in addition to many proprietary add-on applications.

The MM3000 utilizes a heterogeneous, multicore approach to address the specific and diverse processing requirements of video and image signal processing. The two specialized processors are a stream processor and a vector processor combined into a complete multicore system, including local and shared memories, peripherals, DMA and standard bridges to external buses.

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