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FPGA ref design ups flexibility for HD surveillance cams

Posted: 25 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:FGPA  surveillance camera  DSP  reference design 

Altera HD IP cam ref design

From Altera Corp. comes a high-definition (HD), surveillance Internet protocol (IP) camera reference design on a single FPGA. The reference design features Cyclone III or Cyclone IV FPGAs and intellectual property from Eyelytics and Apical.

The design supports AltaSens' 1080p60 A3372E3-4T and Aptina's 720p60 MT9M033 HD wide dynamic range (WDR) CMOS image sensors. It is designed to provide surveillance equipment manufacturers with the ability to reduce board space, lower power consumption, increase flexibility and reduce development time compared to previous architectures using traditional DSP and ASSPs.

Altera claims that traditional DSPs and ASSPs don't have the processing power required to accept the large bandwidth of data from 1080p and 720p WDR CMOS sensors (for instance, a full HD raster is 2200 x 1125 pixels x 16+ bits per pixel x 60fps, resulting in >2Gbit/s bandwidth).

The Cyclone series FPGAs can handle the large amounts of data generated by the latest HD WDR CMOS image sensors. In previous designs, HD WDR camera systems required FPGAs to perform the 'front end' data processing while a DSP or an ASSP handled the 'back end' video encoding. These chips can be replaced by a single FPGA.

The HD surveillance IP camera reference design includes Apical's ISP incorporating WDR processing 'iridix' together with advanced temporal and spatial noise reduction and Apical's 'checkerboard demosaic' core for the Altasens A3372E3-4T WDR mode.

3A functions, such as auto exposure and auto white balance are implemented in software on Altera's Nios II embedded soft-core processor while Eyelytics' H.264 video encoder is capable of 720-line progressive 30 frames-per-second encoding or 1080-line progressive 15fps encoding in main profile

Camera designers have to customise the FPGA with their own specific features, such as adding their own software for motion detection, and pan, tilt and zoom control.

- Colin Holland
Programmable Logic DesignLine

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