IP Camera with Excellent Low Light Performance
Randy Boulter posted on October 07, 2013 | | 5691 views

Texas Instruments has sponsored the following story

Many applications and businesses now rely on cameras connected to a network. Retail businesses use them to monitor and analyze customer interest with products. Electronics device manufacturers design IP cameras into tablets and other personal communications devices. Auto companies are using them to provide visibility for maneuvering in tight places. Add to these examples the countless security applications, and it's clear to see that the new cost effective, small form factors have led to an explosion of netcam applications. However, some challenges remain.

One challenge is that IP cameras often have to operate on battery power so they require a low energy draw. In many cases, they also have to operate in low light environments. TI has introduced a sample kit that implements a low-power, high performance IP netcam with a reduced BOM that addresses these challenges. You can order a free sample kit for the IP net camera.

The heart of the solution features the TMS320DM385 DaVinci digital media processor with low-light technology, video analytics and high-efficiency compression. Video analytics are functions, typically used in video surveillance applications, that automatically analyze live video streams to detect moments in time that are not based on a single image. This allows for motion detection, proximity detection and face recognition. Video analytics are possible with state-of-the-art video analytics algorithms, or complex math functions made possible through a digital signal processor, to detect, track and map the positions of people, vehicles and other objects as they move and interact in the camera's field of view.

DaVinci Digital Media Processor - DM385The DaVinci digital media processor enables complex algorithms and signal processing. These functions are implemented via software programming on the DSP in the DaVinci's digital media processors. To make this development easy, TI has a library that contains various video analytics algorithms for developers to use as a starting point to save time when programming the DSP for their specific video application.

Some examples of what can be done with video analytics are motion detection, object detection, face recognition, tamper detection and video tracking. The DaVinci provides video processing at up to 1080p 60fps H.264. It also features 4k x 2k or higher resolution video, excellent low light detection, face detection and video stabilization.

1.6 MHz Boost Converter With 30V Internal FET Switch in SOT-23 - LM27313Power is provided by a highly efficient module designed for IP cameras to enable lower power consumption. This module consists of four devices. First is the TPS23753A 802.3 PoE interface and isolated converter and enhanced ESD ride-through. Next is the TPS5432 2.95V to 6V input 3A synchronous step-down converter. Also in the power module is the TPS63036 high-efficiency single inductor buck-boost converter with 1-A switches.

The final item is the LM27313 1.6MHz boost converter with 30V internal FET switch. The power module enables the system solution to consume less than four watts of power with 90% efficiency on 5V operation, lower thermal generation. And it's very cost effective.

High Definition Image Sensor Receiver - SN65LVDS324The final item in the kit is the SN65LVD324 high definition image sensor receiver. It is a SubLVDS deserializer that bridges the video stream interface between HD image sensors made by leading manufacturers, to a format that common processors can accept. The receiver features 1080 60fps video and receives serial data from Aptina HiSPi and Panasonic LVDS, and Sony LVDS parallel data. It handles 10/12/14/16-bits per pixel and outputs parallel CMOS data at 18.5MHz to 162MHz.

This IP Netcam sample kit provides a great starting point for designers to implement a wide variety of security, automotive or communications solutions with people or vehicle tracking, face recognition, proximity detection and tamper detection.

Texas Instruments has sponsored promotion of their IP camera solutions on ENGINEERING.com. They have no editorial input to this post - all opinions are mine.  Randy Boulter