Unified quad-core video processor uses 1000 times less energy than a host CPU

July 22, 2013 // By Nick Flaherty
German video IP and solution provider Videantis has launched a unified low power vision and video coding solution for mobile, home and automotive applications.

The solution combines the Hannover-based company’s low-power, scalable v-MP4000HDX processor IP core family with an accelerated OpenCV library, and a suite of Full HD and 4K video encoders and decoders. The licensable solution enables new applications for mobile, gaming and TV platforms: augmented reality, gesture interfacing, depth mapping and computational photography enable new user experiences and usage models. In automotive applications, the company’s low-delay, high dynamic range video codecs combined with computer vision techniques enable both camera-based advanced driver assistance systems and surround-view cameras to prevent collisions.
These applications all require a high-performance, low-power flexible video processing subsystem such as the v-MP4000HDX to run the computationally demanding algorithms that can extract meaning from the images the cameras capture, without draining the battery. This same architecture also supports video compression and decompression, so that the system can simultaneously decompress, analyze and compress video data.
“We’ve been shipping our processor for multi-format HD video coding for some time. Our customers asked if we could add support for computer vision after they experienced our power and area efficiency on video coding applications, and so we did,” said Hans-Joachim Stolberg, videantis’s CEO. “We optimized the widely used OpenCV library for our v-MP4000HDX architecture and combined it with our video codecs, so they’re able to run concurrently. In addition, we took great care in optimizing both the hardware and software for low-power operation, which is of course important for mobile applications, but also a major factor for embedded applications.”
The v-MP4000HDX architecture scales from a three-core v-MP4120HDX subsystem with a single stream processor and two media processors to a ten-core v-MP4280HDX subsystem that includes two stream processors and eight media processors. The v-MP4180HDX subsystem performs 192 16-bit pixel operations per cycle, 24 on each of its eight two-issue VLIW media processors. This subsystem is under 2mm2 of silicon in 28nm technology, including memories. With four media processors, the v-MP4140HDX subsystem performs 96 16-bit pixel operations