Pinnacle Imaging offers library of imaging cores

May 19, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Pinnacle Imaging Systems Corp. (Belmont, Calif.) has developed and begun licensing its Ultra HDR family of cores for use in high dynamic range (HDR) video and still cameras.

Pinnacle has a track record in providing software for maximizing dynamic range in captured images and has now ported that expertise into a library of IP cores that covers such activities as frame merging and locally adaptive tone mapping (LATM).

The IP cores sit between – and work independently of – the image sensor and the downstream logic.  The company cites the example that some sensors produce up to 115dB of dynamic range non-natively, at 1080p/60fps, and may not need further dynamic range improvement for the application, but could benefit from LATM IP cores for adaptive scene improvement for each frame. Similarly, some sensors produce about 65dB of dynamic range in their native mode and can utilize an added boost in range to 120dB by use of a four- or two-frame merge with no visible artifacts for improved motion capture.

Applications that can benefit from the enhanced dynamic range to counteract high brightness, glare and deep shadow include security and surveillance, intelligent traffic and transportation systems, after-market automotive camera systems, wearable camera and vision systems.

Other cores can provide automatic ghost removal and halo reduction and compensate for minimal camera motion between frames, automatic white balance and exposure controls, and shadow tracking tracking.

The architecture of the IP cores is modelled in human vision and seeks to preserve a scene's true colors during the tone mapping process. The Ultra HDR technology can capture 120 fps (merging four exposures per frame), and stream full 1080 HDMI tone mapped video for display at up to 60 fps in real time.

"We are currently seeing growing demand for HDR capabilities embedded into video cameras and production equipment," said Ron Tussy, director of business development for Pinnacle Imaging Systems, in a statement. "Our proprietary embedded HDR tone mapping is a critical underlying technology necessary to improve data capture for technologies used in range finding and recognition in automotive, security and surveillance or any other field