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Imaging SoC helps manufacturers achieve perfect balance between ‘function,’ ’cost’

Imaging SoC helps manufacturers achieve perfect balance between ‘function,’ ’cost’
Finding a supplier who can provide SoCs that are high-performance, low-power, AI-enabled and cost-effective is key for camera manufacturers to win out in the market.
It goes without saying that besides the image sensor, the system-on-chip (SoC) is the most important component inside an IP camera. Finding a supplier who can provide SoCs that are high-performance, low-power, AI-enabled and cost-effective, then, is key for camera manufacturers to win out in the market.
Needless to say, end users from different vertical markets today are demanding more and more out of their cameras, which must meet their requirements for high-quality video even under extremely difficult and challenging conditions, for example in low light or against strong background lighting. Beyond security, users are also looking to extract from their video more insights that can help improve operation efficiency and business intelligence.
From left to right: Morgan Chen, Manager,
Imaging Solution Division, Socionext Taiwan;
Mark Hsu, Chief Strategy Officer, LILIN; and
Umeki Kosuke, Project Director, Imaging
Solution Division, Socionext Taiwan pose
for a group photo.
Meeting these requirements at a cost that’s acceptable to users is a huge undertaking for camera manufacturers. The key to overcoming this challenge, then, is finding a partner like Socionext who can provide SoCs that are low-power, high-performance, highly customized and AI-enabled – solutions that strike a perfect balance between “performance” and “cost.”

4 key advantages of Socionext SoC

According to Morgan Chen, Manager of Imaging Solution Division at Socionext Taiwan, the company has developed an SoC for surveillance applications that boasts four major advantages:
  • Wide dynamic range (WDR) – Compared to conventional WDR technologies which take two images with different exposures of the scene, Socionext’s technology takes three such images and takes the medium value, thus capturing quality, detailed images even in challenging lighting conditions. The technology can also adjust the ratio of exposure more effectively than other companies and can reduce noise and color abnormality to the lowest.
  • Low-light noise reduction – To compensate for low luminosity, most cameras use a slower shutter speed, which often results in motion blur for objects moving at high speeds. Further, most of the time low-light capturing produces black-and-white images. Socionext has put a lot of efforts into rectifying these issues: its technology can capture images with great detail and retain objects’ natural color even in extreme low light, with minimum motion blur.
  • High image quality – Socionext employs its gamma correction technology to compensate for any insufficiency in wide dynamic range. The end result is detailed and clear video even captured in highly contrasting lighting scenarios.
  • Intelligence – The chip is already enabled with face detection, objection detection as well as tampering alarm. Besides these, Socionext is also working with renowned AI chip vendors to add edge-based facial recognition and gender/age analysis to the SoC. 
These features have won the attention, and ultimately business, of LILIN, a leading security solutions provider.

Partnership between Socionext and LILIN

With a history of over 30 years, Taiwan-based LILIN is a premier manufacturer of cameras for video surveillance applications and has developed into one of the leading IP-based security solutions providers in the world. Commenting on why LILIN has chosen Socionext as its chip supply partner, Mark Hsu, Chief Strategy Officer, says the current chip that the company uses is no longer able to fully meet user demands for advanced WDR, low light and AI-based object identification capabilities, especially in certain use scenarios such as on highways and factories. On the other hand, Socionext’s SoC solution is able to help LILIN fulfill those requirements. Especially in terms of face detection, the current chip that LILIN uses can only detect eight faces in a frame, while Socionext’s can detect up to 24 or even 32. “Socionext has integrated some simple yet effective algorithms into their SoC to address various pain points faced by camera manufacturers. So, taking image quality, performance and cost all into consideration, Socionext is a great SoC partner to work with,” Hsu said.

Powering the future: A win situation for WW partners

To support camera manufacturers in their product expansion efforts, Socionext has drawn up a roadmap that will add 2MP and 5MP solutions to the company’s existing 3MP and 8MP ones, said Umeki Kosuke, Project Director of Imaging Solution Division at Socionext Taiwan. Further, Socionext has high-quality image IP which can support first-tier companies worldwide. This IP can be used not only in the surveillance market but also in drones, action cams and mobile applications. Socionext plans to develop SoCs embedded with the company’s own AI. This will result in more high-performance and cost-effective solutions for camera manufacturers and, ultimately, a win situation for all.
Click here for more information about Socionext.

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