TI announces all-in-one digital video technology

Texas Instruments announced new technology intended to simplify and speed up the design and production of digital video devices, from set-top boxes and handhelds to cameras and automotive gear.

At a news conference held simultaneously in New York and San Francisco, TI executives described the new DaVinci technology as a one-stop solution for the creation of sophisticated devices with a wide range of video features.

Specifically, DaVinci consists of a family of processors with integrated software and development tools that support multiple video applications. Hardware designers who currently have to cobble together several processors to create an innovative multipurpose device should be able to use a DaVinci chip instead, picking and choosing from a menu of supported, production-ready features and thereby saving time and money.

"DaVinci dramatically reduces the complexity of creating video equipment," TI president and chief executive Rich Templeton said.

How it works

A video introducing DaVinci showed examples of what the technology might enable, including a set-top box that supports videoconferencing and also has a biometric home security system that uses a facial scanner to screen visitors; an in-dash automotive gadget that uses night-vision technology to warn of a deer in the road; cameras that offer automatic color and exposure correction; and 3D gaming gear that can create avatars for players and transmit them to competitors across the globe.

In its ability to support multiple features, DaVinci technology resembles TI's OMAP platform for cell phones, which integrates phone functionality with support for cameras, digital audio players, and the like. "DaVinci will do for digital video what OMAP did for mobile phones," Templeton predicted. "It's what the consumer electronics industry has been waiting for."

TI expects to announce DaVinci processor samples along with software and development tools by year's end. Officials said prototype DaVinci-based products from TI customers could be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

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Yardena Arar

PC World
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