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Linux camera, video server power up over Ethernet

Feb 27, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 27 views

Nuvation has introduced two Linux-based reference designs that run on Texas Instruments (TI) DaVinci processors, and support power-over-Ethernet (PoE). The IP Camera includes its own high-resolution camera sensor and lens, while the IVS is designed for use with external analog CCTV… (closed-circuit TV) cameras.

Both designs are based on TI's TMS320DM644x system-on-chip (SoC), which integrates an ARM926 processor core with a TMS320C64x+ DSP (digital signal processor) core. Both run a “real-time” MontaVista Linux 2.6 distribution, says Nuvation.

The IP Camera PoE

The Intelligent Video Server

Nuvation claims both designs can compress full-color 720×480 (D1) video over Ethernet at up to 30fps. Both are also said to support optional video analytics intelligence software. Supported codecs include H.264, MPEG-4/H.263, MPEG-2, MJPEG, and G.711 video.

IPCam software block diagram

Both the IPCam and the IVS designs boast an optional TI TPS23750 board, which combines a PoE 802.3af-compliant TPS2375 PD controller with an integrated DC/DC converter. The PoE board accepts power over CatV Ethernet cable, enabling more flexible placement of surveillance cameras.

IPCam hardware block diagram

The IPCam PoE design is the second in Nuvation's IPCam line of products, following up on the IPCam Mini reference design it introduced a year ago. The new version is identically sized at a modest 3.25 x 1.7 x 1.8 inches (79 x 43 x 47mm), and adds “enhanced features, COGS [cost of goods sold], and thermal characteristics,” says the company. Like its predecessor, the IPCam PoE incorporates Pixim's Orca imaging chipset, which is said to implement patented image processing features likely to increase the chances of positive subject identification in video surveillance applications.

IVS block diagram

Nuvation's Intelligent Video Server reference design offers a single-channel audio/video streamer that can adapt a standard CCTV analog camera into an Internet Protocol (IP) streamer. It measures 4.25 x 1.7 x 1.8 inches (108 x 43 x 47 mm). I/O interfaces include USB 2.0, Ethernet (RJ-45), and analog video (NTSC/PAL), with optional WiFi and WiMax.

Nuvation also announced two other reference designs due in the second quarter that appear to use a proprietary RTOS instead of Linux. The Multichannel Video Front-End (McVFE) is designed to merge up to 16 analog video streams for video security applications, and the Scalable Video Platform (SVP) is described as an advanced video development platform working with DaVinci-based video arrays.

Nuvation's reference designs include PCB design source files, bills of materials, optimized Linux board support package (BSP), Pixim processor firmware, mechanical enclosure, design documentation, and support. Nuvation also provides design customization and ODM production services, it says.

Nexdome DragonFly

(Click for details)


Evaluation units for the IP Camera PoE reference design are available now at a price of $4,000 each for five or fewer units. Intelligent Video Server reference designs are also available at an undisclosed price. Reference design source files can be licensed from Nuvation. More information on the IP Camera PoE is available here, and the IVS page is here.

Nexvision sells a DaVinci-based IP camera reference design similar to Nuvation's IPCam. The Nexdome DragonFly (pictured at right) lacks the PoE support, but offers a “360 degree, X180 immersive lens” that enables users to zoom in on a scene through a virtual pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) display.

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