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Next-gen video surveillance gets smarter, high-def

Posted: 14 Jan 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:video surveillance  IP network  digital recorder  processor 

The video surveillance market is enjoying steady growth due to the increasing concern for safety and security. Although the financial crisis greatly affected many industries, ABI Research data showed that the global video surveillance market had a growth rate of 10 per cent in 2008. With economic recovery, the market is expected to continue to grow in 2009. ABI Research also forecasts that the value of the whole market will exceed Rs.191,971.14 crore ($41 billion) in 2014. In China, the video surveillance market is expanding, meeting the security needs in various industries.

The flourishing market not only brings numerous business opportunities to the chip vendors and OEMs, but also poses new challenges to the system designer. Network video surveillance will gradually become the mainstream and intelligence is becoming the next trend of IP video surveillance system. And as IP video surveillance is developing towards high-definition and intelligent gadgets, the core chips must also deliver higher processing capability.

Call for more power SoCs
At present, the digital video recorder still plays a dominant role in the video surveillance market of China, but the network video recorder and IP network camera are showing a great potential for growth. In addition, the video surveillance market of China is also characterised by the coexistence of the analogue video surveillance system and digital video surveillance system.

Video intelligence analysis is becoming the hotspot technology of digital video surveillance system, and DSP is the driving force of video intelligence analysis. At present, no established international standard on intelligent digital video analysis is available. The programmable high-performance DSP and video processor enable more complex surveillance algorithms.

The DSPs developed by TI have once promoted the development of the digital video surveillance technology. TI's TMS320DM642 general digital media processor has laid a milestone. TI's Davinci platform, a digital media processing SoC, can also provide a powerful platform for digital video surveillance system design.

An ideal DSP specifically designed for the application of image processing must have the following features:

•: The cores have a powerful processing capability
•: Instruction set that is specifically designed for image processing
•: Low-power hardware architecture that facilitates the transmission of massive data
•: High degree of integration
•: Diversified software module libraries
•: Powerful development tool

A new solution to the video surveillance system is the convergent-processor that integrates the control function with the digital signal processing function. ADI's Blackfin DSP is a typical example.

The Blackfin DSP integrates the advantages of the traditional DSP and MCU, and gives consideration to both event control and pure algorithm operation processing, thereby allowing engineers to perform image preprocessing, image processing, and system control on a single chip and enhancing the degree of system integration.

At present, the DSP-based solution acts a mainstream status in the market. Meanwhile, some FPGA manufacturers want to exert their advantages by providing differentiated and customised solutions. By integrating the FPGA components with the MPU/DSP for the video surveillance application, designers can not only avail themselves of the inherent flexibility of the programmable coprocessor, but also focus on algorithm development through FPGA, so as to utilise the processing capability of the MPU/DSP. Some manufacturers adopt the DSP+FPGA mode in the hardware platforms of their multi-channel video surveillance systems.

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