Video cameras are pretty good today, but image processing technology keeps marching forward. So video chip maker Ambarella is announcing today that its chips can record video at a resolution of 4K, or about four times the resolution of today’s high-end 1080p high-definition videos.
The S2 System-on-Chip processors, pictured in a prototype above, could serve as the image capture technology in low-power security cameras that broadcast their video over the internet. Most people are probably perfectly happy with high-definition video the way it is today. But TV makers are excited about selling 4K HDTVs (which cost around $20,000 now). And they want everyone to start shooting videos in 4K resolution so that there will be content for those TVs.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Ambarella is a leader in making chips for video cameras using a variety of encoding and decoding technologies and a very small amount of electrical power. That’s why its chips are ideal for mobile devices, which need power efficiency for longer battery life.
The Ambarella S2 family of SoCs is based on a dual-core ARM Cortex™-A9 central processing unit and a high-end video processing component that delivers multi-stream H.264 encoding up to 4K (3840 x 2160p resolution at 30 frames per second) resolution. Built with a low-power 32-nanometer manufacturing process, the chip has plenty of processing power to record and display video in 4K, using less than two watts of power. It can capture data in 32-megapixel sensor resolution.
“By delivering 4K video and multi-core CPU performance in a 32nm low-power design, Ambarella is enabling high-resolution video in compact camera form factors,” said Fermi Wang, president and chief executive of Ambarella. “With S2, our customers have a flexible platform to create highly intelligent IP cameras that have outstanding image clarity.”
Ambarella’s chip can support IP security video cameras that have features such as panoramic photos, hardware face detection, digital pan-tilt-zoom, image stabilization, WiFi connectivity, cloud services, local SD Card recording, and transcoding. The S2 family of chips is now available for qualified customers, who would take the chips and design them into cameras.