DSP-based devices aim to simplify digital video - Embedded.com

DSP-based devices aim to simplify digital video

Houston, Tex. &#151 Aiming to simplify digital video systems, Texas Instruments has launched two digital signal processor-based systems-on-chip (SoCs); one unit is a video decode device, the other provides the video encode/decode functions. The two devices, based on TI’s TMS320DM644x architecture are the first offerings for TI’s new DaVinci platform which includes silicon devices, application programming interfaces (APIs), frameworks and development tools.

The TMS320DM644x architecture has absorbed many of the external components required for digital video, dropping hardware bill of materials by as much as 50 percent, according to Gregory Mar, SoC platform manager, DSP solutions at TI.

The DM644x devices employ TI’s TMS320C64x+ DSP core, an ARM926 processor, video accelerators, networking peripherals and external memory/storage interfaces. They are all specifically tuned for video.

The TMS320DM6443, tuned for video decode applications, provides all of the processing components required to decode digital video, including analog and digital video output with integrated resizer and on-screen display (OSD) engines. The TMS320DM6446, tuned for video encode and decode applications, adds video encoding capabilities through a dedicated video processing front end capable of capturing various digital video formats.

For details of the chips, see block diagram below. The Video-Imaging Coprocessor and the Front End of the Video Processing Subsystem, are available only on the DM6446.

 See related image

TI has eliminated the complexity of digital video through the integration of hardware and software, allowing developers to build upon existing, production-tested software components optimized for digital video, he said.

Mar added that the complete DaVinci software infrastructure, from low-level OS drivers to application APIs, enables developers to implement digital video without having to focus resources on writing and optimizing codecs or programming a DSP. Initially, based on the Linux operating system, APIs mask the complex hardware and software details of implementing codecs from developers, enabling them to interchange multimedia codecs without having to modify application code. Optimized video and audio codecs are also available for free evaluation and licensing from TI to simplify and speed customer design and decision making.

When creating applications, developers are able to write to industry-recognized APIs for storage, networking and video interfaces leveraging standard OS development environments. OEMs are still empowered to access and develop directly on the DSP and ARM should they choose. “DaVinci technology gives developers flexible combinations of components to quickly create high-performance and production-tested designs without getting bogged down in the details of video implementation,” said Mar.

“DaVinci technology will be implemented into a wide variety of applications, such as videophones, video security systems, and innovative devices that will take advantage of easy digital video implementation.” Developers can begin evaluation and implementation of the DM644x devices with the Digital Video Evaluation Module (DVEVM). The DVEVM contains the MontaVista 2.6.10 Linux Preview Kit and MontaVista GNU development tools.

In addition, the DV-EVM includes a NTSC/PAL camera, LCD screen, pre-wired video encode and decode codec demos and the ability to create new demos with original video streams. The DVEVM also offers connectivity to video input/outputs, networking interfaces, storage interfaces and standard daughter card connections, so developers can use the DVEVM for their application prototypes. Using the DVEVM, developers can write production-ready application code for the ARM and access the DSP core using DaVinci APIs to begin application development immediately for both the DM6443 and DM6446.

Code Composer Studio Integrated Development Environment supporting TMS320DM644x devices is also available now giving design engineers the flexibility to work with the tool chain they are most familiar with. DaVinci products are backed by TI and its third party network that is able to offer video system expertise to customers worldwide.

The TMS320DM6443 and TMS320DM6446 are pin-for-pin and software-compatible, as well as being code compatible with previous generations of TMS320DM644x devices and are sampling immediately. The DM6443 is $29.95 and the DM6446 is $34.95, both in quantities of 10KU in 2006. The DVEVM (TMDXEVM6446) is $1995 and available for order entry.

Texas Instrumens (800) 547-2537


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