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Sony Xarina, impressive than ever 

Sony Xarina, impressive than ever 

Sony has announced the CXD4145GG Xarina IP camera platform, which targets entry-level commercial models and home security camera applications. The new model includes a high-performance ISP and H.264 encoder, boasts improved basic picture quality and enhanced visibility, and realizes lower cost by incorporating various peripheral devices. With the CXD4145GG, Sony now offers a complete line of solutions that target different customers with different security needs.

The CXD4145GG is for entry-level commercial models and home security camera applications. The maximum number of pixels that can be processed by the ISP (image signal processor) and the H.264 encoder of the CXD4145GG has been expanded from the previous 2 megapixels to 5 megapixels to meet increasing demands for high-resolution images. In addition to improved ISP performance and picture quality, the flexibility of the H.264 encoder's streaming distribution has also been enhanced to support various usage scenarios. Furthermore, the CXD4145GG incorporates a wide range of functions and peripheral devices considered essential for IP security cameras, enabling simple circuit-and-board configurations and lower set costs. This allows the creation of an extensive lineup of IP security cameras that are expected to gain wider market acceptance in the future. These cameras include full-HD, high-performance, and high-resolution cameras in the 5-megapixel and 3-megapixel ranges, day-and-night multifunction cameras, wide-angle cameras, and home security cameras.

Below are features that set the CXD4145GG apart from others:

High-performance ISP and H.264 encoder
The maximum number of processing pixels and achievable frame rates for the ISP and H.264 encoders are up to 30 frames per second for up to 3 megapixels and up to 15 frames per second for 5 megapixels. In addition, the CXD4145GG has three different types of sensor interface, namely LVCMOS parallel, sub-LVDS serial, and MIPI in order to support a diverse range of CMOS image sensors. The H.264 encoder supports various profiles (HP, MP, and BP) and refined bit rate control (VBR and CBR) and can simultaneously distribute up to 16 streams of low bit-rate images with high quality (example: full-HD 30 frame/s + D1 30 frame/s + CIF 30 frame/s + QVGA 30 frame/s + full-HD JPEG).

Improved basic picture quality enhances visibility
The CXD4145GG uses next-generation ISP technology to vastly enhance basic picture quality. ATR-EX (adaptive tone reproduction- EXtra) performance has been enhanced to further increase the visibility of low-contrast images and images that include both light and dark areas (Photographs 1). The 3D-NR algorithm has been improved to enhance color reproducibility under low illumination and suppress motion blur, making it possible to obtain clearer images of moving objects under low illumination. In addition, visibility in various environments is ensured by various features, including the defog function that increases the clarity of images with low contrast due to fog, rain, or dust; the HLC (high light compensation) function that increases the visibility of license plate characters by suppressing halation in images due to automobile headlights at night; and the IR optimizer function that suppresses halation of subjects illuminated by IR light when using a day/night camera. In addition, the simple LDC (lens distortion correction) function that corrects distortion when using a wide-angle lens is also incorporated, making it possible to obtain more natural images (Photographs 2).

Realizes lower cost by incorporating various peripheral devices
The CXD4145GG incorporates a variety of peripheral devices considered essential in the creation of IP security cameras, such as USB PHY, RTC, general-purpose ADC, audio codec, microphone, and speaker amplifier (Fig. 1). In addition, the SD card interface supports SDXC/UHS-I and enables high-volume, high-speed access required for edge storage. The Ethernet PHY interface supports EEE (energy-efficient Ethernet: IEEE802.3az), allowing an overall reduction in system power consumption.

Inherits and improves the Xarina software platform
Customers who have already established a development environment for Sony's current mainstream model (CXD4135GG) can smoothly migrate to CXD4145GG by using compatible MW (middleware) and API (application programming interface). In addition, even higher performance can be achieved by using MW and API with newly expanded functions and enhanced performance.

Full range of IP camera development tools
In addition to the conventional SDK, a turnkey reference design kit is also provided to help shorten the customer's IP camera development TAT. The hardware uses a circuit board layout that assumes the shape of a popular cubic type IP camera for home applications and is equipped with an SD card slot, microphone and speaker, PIR (motion sensor), day/night function (IR LED, IR cut filter insertion and removal unit, and brightness sensor), and USB slot (for Wi-Fi applications, etc.). This serves as a reference for camera development and also enables evaluation of various CXD4145GG functions. In addition, there is also a plan to provide a PC viewer.

Developmental Status
Sequential shipments of CXD4145GG engineering samples are scheduled for 4Q 2014 in coordination with the support tool preparation status and Sony's support capacity. Mass production is scheduled for 1Q 2015. Regarding deployment following mass production, the addition of sensors supported by the CXD4145GG via software updates will be handled as appropriate. This will enable easy deployment of derivative products using the same development environment. Image sensor support conditions will be notified via the Sony website (www.sony-net/dsp). In addition, there are also plans to introduce the CXD4155GG as a separate model focusing on home security camera applications as part of the low-end lineup.

 

Summary and prospects
By developing the CXD4145GG in addition to the current product CXD4135GG, Sony has enabled the creation of a wide range of high-picture-quality IP security cameras ranging from entry-level models for commercial applications to mid-range and home security models. Sony intends to further expand the Xarina platform to help enhance the overall video quality and provide new value with an eye on cloud service, big data, and other applications.

 



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