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News

Embedded video analytics based on DaVinci technology

Texas Instruments : 18 September, 2008  (Application Story)
Software for video analytics developed by VCA Technology designed for use with DaVince digital media processors from Texas Instruments
VCA Technology has developed the first version of its Video Analytics software suite, VCAsys, specifically for digital media processors based on DaVinciT technology from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI). One reason for this is that the digital media processors based on DaVinci technology have emerged as technology of choice for video analytics, in which video images are evaluated in real time for events of interest. Thanks to the DaVinci digital media processors, affordable analytics can run on a board half the size of a business card, yet ample resources are available for other system operations and applications.

VCAsys software running on a DaVinci processor turns a video camera into an intelligent, information-gathering device. Cameras equipped in this way can perform intelligent analysis of motion with application areas including intrusion detection, vehicle monitoring, abandoned-object detection, people counting, and loitering detection, as well as camera tampering and failure detection.

The first company to take advantage of this advance is Korean-based UDP Technology, which develops video-surveillance products and sells both hardware modules and complete IP cameras and encoders. VCAsys is an integral part of their IPE042 module based on a DaVinci processor, which will be integrated into 16 new camera products over several months.

At the heart of VCAsys is a unique tracking engine which eliminates the complicated setup associated with other video-analytics software, which can have as many as 100 algorithm setup parameters for aspects such as digital filters or adjusting for various lighting conditions. In contrast, VCAsys has no algorithm parameters; instead, it automatically adjusts to the conditions it encounters. This not only eases the job of integrating the software into IP cameras, it is now possible for untrained personnel or even someone at home to easily set up a surveillance system.

'In highly intelligent cameras offering compressed video stream and analytics, a DSP is mandatory because of the considerable signal processing that must take place,' explains Geoff Thiel, CEO of VCA Technology, 'and the digital media processors based on DaVinci technology have become the de facto standard platform for video analytics. By leveraging this technology, we have been able to create very sophisticated Video Analytics that are nonetheless easy to use and at an affordable price.'


In configuring the first hardware platform for this software, its developer wanted a single-chip solution to keep size and costs down. Thus, VCA selected TI's TMS320DM6446 digital media processor, which is ideally suited for IP cameras in several ways. First, with its DSP, this system on a chip supplies the computational resources needed to execute high-level algorithms such as H.264 video compression plus video analytics. Second, its ARM processor supports Linux, which runs a web server for remote camera operation. Customers can also create their own Linux applications for product differentiation and added value.

Moreover, like many of the digital media processors based on DaVinci technology, the DM6446 supplies a wide range of I/O peripherals such as Ethernet, USB, SD and serial ports, so it becomes easy to add features. As a result, upcoming cameras from UDP will offer such options as wireless networking and in-camera recording to removable mass-storage media.

Comments Philippe Marchay, Security business development manager at TI, 'It is exciting that VCA Technology chose the digital media processors based on DaVinci techology for VCAsys. This example shows yet another application that makes perfect use of the overall performance of our DM64xx high-performance processors thanks to the integration of analytics, encoding and a Linux-based web browser, all on a single chip. This is great news for developers of video surveillance products who want to inexpensively and efficiently embed advanced analytics into their cameras to meet the demands of this growing market.'
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