How FPGA Boosts Smart Camera Development?

FPGA-based smart-camera designs are enabling efficient streaming processing to meet the unique needs of surveillance applications.

FREMONT, CA: Innovation in smart-camera technology is rapidly gaining traction, nurturing faster, smaller, and power-efficient vision systems optimized for sophisticated tasks that can increase precision and security for several verticals from industrial to surveillance. As the competition in the market intensifies, design versatility becomes a critical metric for smart-camera vendors seeking to speed their time to revenue. In this aspect, FPGA processing platforms are used to enhance design flexibility, functional versatility, rapid prototyping. 

FPGAs came into the picture as means for real-time control of the camera hardware. With FPGA control, the smart camera can achieve near real-time response to trigger input and control the sensor, making sure that the camera captures an image. With an FPGA, the picture is taken instantly when the trigger is fired. Integrating FPGAs to serve as the pseudo-hardware has been one of the critical factors in the recent explosion in smart camera capabilities. 

FPGA’s advantages are appealing for achieving the goals of live video analytics too. FPGA is good at latency-sensitive jobs due to circuit-level customization on its parallel computing units and on-chip storage banks, saving a large portion of overheads in general-purpose processors, including instruction fetch, cache miss, task scheduling and many more. FPGA is naturally energy-efficient, making it friendly for small form factor cameras, and this low energy consumption feature makes FPGA more attractive for power-hungry smart cameras. FPGA-based smart cameras that enable efficient in-situ streaming processing to meet the stringent low-power, energy-efficient, low-latency requirements of edge vision applications is all set to hit the market.

Thanks to the addition of FPGAs, smart camera development is going through an exciting period right now. Costs are going down while capabilities are increasing, and more breakthroughs could be just around the corner. 

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