VisiCom, an IT solution provider based in San Diego, better invest in some new cloaks and daggers. Some of its technology is going to be used in the spy business.
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), which provides information to defense, intelligence, and policy-making governmental organizations, has recommended the company's VigraVision real-time image- and video-processing board for use in motion-imagery applications. This recommendation came through the Pathfinder 2000 program, which links commercial and government technology developers with the analysts who use systems to access imagery and geospatial information.
The VigraVision board was chosen because of its real-time image-processing abilities. These include edge and motion detection, frame averaging, and stabilization. The board also can be reconfigured to incorporate new imaging algorithms as needs change. It uses a unique architecture based on Xilinx's Virtex series of FPGAs to provide a reconfigurable hardware so-lution, enabling intensive, real-time image-processing functions and high-performance functionality (see the figure).
Roy Hawkins, COO of VisiCom's Computer Products Division, says, "The ability to readily accommodate new algorithms is a key benefit for developers providing motion-imagery and analysis systems and services used by the U.S. intelligence agencies and military services."
By using VigraVision in conjunction with third-party motion-imagery exploitation applications, analysts can save valuable time in obtaining instant access to critical data for analysis and display. "What was previously accomplished as a post-processing function—where image data is captured, stored, and downloaded for analysis—can now be done on the VigraVision board in real time on a single workstation," Hawkins adds. And with NIMA's recommendation, it won't be long before VigraVision starts playing a role in national security.
VigraVision is available in PCI and PMC form factors. Depending on the configuration, single-unit pricing ranges from $895 to $2995. Quantity discounts are available. Contact VisiCom at (800) 621-8474, or go to www.visicom.com.