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RISC/DSP-based surveillance camera runs Linux

Jun 14, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 11 views

Nexvision has produced a prototype IP network video security camera targeting large area surveillance applications such as public transportation, utility plants, and medical centers. The “Nexdome Dragonfly” prototype is based on a Texas Instruments (TI) “DaVinci” processor, measures 5.1 inches (13cm) square, and… runs embedded Linux.

(Click for larger view of Nexvision's Nexdome DragonFly)

Nexvision claims its Nexdome DragonFly to be the first prototype IP network security camera based on TI's DaVinci technology. DaVinci chips are TI's DM644x-series RISC/DSP SoCs that combine ARM cores with TI's most modern DSPs (digital signal processors), previously available only as separate co-processors. TI began shipping the first DaVinci chips late last year, and last week announced that it resells MontaVista Linux as part of its DaVinci development kit.

Nexvision says its Nexdome Dragonfly prototype leverages a number of open standard technologies, including Linux, MPEG4 compression, and real-time streaming network protocols. Additionally, the design integrates several “differentiated analog companion products” from TI, including video decoders, amplifiers, power LDOs, power DC/DC switches, and USB switches.

The Nexdome Dragonfly is intended for applications requiring high application and video processing power, such as network-managed object detection and tracking, traffic surveillance, and automatic license plate recognition.

The prototype has a 5-megapixel CMOS sensor, along with a “360 degree, X180 immersive lens.” The combination lets the user view a full scene, or zoom in through a virtual pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) display, without diminishing image quality, Nexvision claims. The camera supports 6fps using H.264 compression at HD resolutions, or up to 30fps at resolutions between VGA (640 x 480) and D1 (768 x 480). Supported streaming and network protocols include RTP/RTCP, PPP, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, Telnet, DNS, and DHCP, Ethernet, WIFI, Power line, xDSL, and GPRS/EDGE.

M. Lange, business development manager for Nexvision, stated, “TI's DaVinci technology-based processor is the only embedded media controller on the market that integrates onto one chip the image processing power and peripherals needed for high-end video analysis and H.264 D1 real-time compression for streaming video over xDSL lines.”

Cyril Clocher, business development manager for TI's DSP group in Europe, stated, “Nexvision was able to design Nexdome Dragonfly based on a single DaVinci technology-based processor within six months, a record design cycle time.”


Nexvision says its Nexdome Dragonfly prototype has already been adopted by one customer for use in a surveillance camera product.

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