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DaVinci gains commercial Linux Gstreamer framework

Jul 12, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

MPEG-4 codec vendor Ateme has ported the open source GStreamer media application framework to the newest Texas Instruments (TI) RISC/DSP chips, and is offering an “audio/video software system” for the platform. The “Easee” system (“enhanced Ateme software embedded engine”) for TI DaVinci chips comprises codecs, protocols, and file containers, and is said to “resolve all lip synch issues,” while… meeting requirements for compression and IP streaming.

Target applications include video security, video conferencing, IP-STBs (IP set top boxes), PMPs (portable media players), digital media adapters, and “many others,” Ateme says.

Gstreamer is an LGPL'd library aimed at enabling multimedia players and editors to seamlessly take advantage of advances in codecs, filters, and other technology. Gstreamer provides a plug-in framework that lets developers create pipelines or “graphs” of various media processing components, including I/O drivers, codecs, file containers, streamers, and so on.

TI's TMS320DM644x family of chips based on DaVinci technology wed TI's newest TMS320C64x+ DSP cores, previously available only as standalone co-processors, with ARM926 applications processors. They target digital video processing applications, such as portable multimedia players (PMPs) and digital video recorders (DVRs).

Ateme says its Easee system exploits both the DSP and ARM926 cores found in DaVinci chips. The system comprises:

  • A framework, based on the GStreamer core that Ateme ported to DaVinci technology
  • A set of A/V codecs
    • Video decoders: H.264, MPEG-4, DivX, MPEG-2, WMV9
    • Video encoders: H.264, MPEG-4
    • Audio codecs: AAC, MP3, MPEG-1 Layer 2 and voice codecs can be added on either the ARM or the DSP
  • Standard streaming protocols
    • Based on TCP/IP, RTP/RTSP, and MPEG-2 TS
  • Common file containers
    • File multiplexers and demultiplexers for AVI, MP4, MPEG-2 PS, and EXIF

Ateme says Easee can be used to construct simple or complex data flow graphs comprised of I/O drivers and various processing elements. The graphs enable developers of recorders, players, and streamers to focus on what their application has to perform, according to the company.

Marc Guillaumet, business unit manager at Ateme, stated, “With DaVinci technology, TI has combined the performance of a DSP with the open structure of an ARM [processor], running Linux, to deliver a flexible SoC optimized for video applications. We have taken the full benefits of this architecture to build a rich and flexible software solution as user-friendly as a PC.”

Gstreamer was originally developed by Erik Walthinsen and others, with sponsorship from RidgeRun, a company that specialized in embedded Linux on TI dual-core (RISC/DSP) processors. Gstreamer has since been widely adopted in both the desktop and embedded Linux arenas. For example, Gstreamer is used in both Maemo software for Nokia's 770 Internet Tablet, and in Access/PalmSource's Access Linux Platform (ALP).

Visioneering Sonata
(Click for details)

Nexdome Dragonfly
(Click for details)

Noted design wins to date based on Linux and DaVinci include Visioneering's petite Sonata IP-STB and Nexvision's Nexdome Dragonfly security camera.

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