Electronic Design

Enhanced Video, Lower Pricetag

Camera prices are falling. So are DSP prices, leading to a massive rise in multichannel video capture applications from video-based security to machine vision.

Texas Instruments' DaVinci TMS320 720-MHz DM647 and 900-MHz DM648 DSPs target this area with twice the performance of their predecessors while cutting almost $40 from the typical bill of materials for these types of applications (see the figure).

The chips have enough performance to handle multichannel audio and video compression and analysis. This allows a system to analyze multimedia input and only forward information when necessary, reducing network bandwidth requirements.

The chips get a performance boost using the new 64-bit C64x+ DSP core plus an enhanced video/imaging coprocessor (VICP). The DM648 has twice the memory of its predecessor and the DM647. DDR533 dynamic memory is now supported. The chip also can support multiple custom codecs.

The move to five dual-channel video ports enables the chips to handle more inputs without external multiplexers. Ten McASP serial interfaces handle multichannel audio inputs. A host processor typically uses the PCI interface to control multiple chips. External access is supported by one (DM647) or two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. A four-port Gigabit switch ties the interfaces together.

Pricing for the DM647 and DM648 starts at $39.95 and $49.95, respectively. The chips are available in 19- by 19-mm packages.

Texas Instruments

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