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Lattice Semiconductor has released a high-definition (HD) video camera development kit for security and surveillance, traffic control, video conferencing and automotive applications.

The production-ready HDR-60 video camera development kit is based on the LatticeECP3 FPGA range.

Preloaded with a plug-and-play evaluation image signal processing (ISP) pipeline based on intellectual property (IP) cores from Lattice partner Helion, the kit works right out of the box.

The IP is capable of delivering 1080p performance at 60fps with 2D noise reduction and a high dynamic range (HDR).

Designed with a form factor to fit into commercially available camera housings and capable of supporting two sensors simultaneously, the kit enables the rapid evaluation and prototyping of HDR video cameras.

Schematics and layout files are available free to all purchasers, further accelerating the time to market.

The Lattice HDR-60 video camera development kit is priced at USD399 (GBP245).

The kit has been designed using a LatticeECP3-70 FPGA; however, the ISP IP pipeline needed to implement a complete 1080p60 HDR camera requires only a 33K LUT LatticeECP3-35 device.

The development kit offers camera manufacturers several benefits, including a fully integrated HDR ISP pipeline from sensor to HDMI/DVI display.

Equipped with an Aptina 720p HDR sensor, with a 1080p HDR sensor planned for the second quarter of 2011, the kit also offers a fast auto-exposure, a system dynamic range of greater than 120dB, an efficient Auto White Balance algorithm and 2D noise reduction – all in streaming mode through the FPGA without the need for an external frame buffer, enabling low latency and further reducing system cost.

Onboard DDR2 memory also enables applications such as 3D noise reduction, image stitching from multiple sensors, image rotation and de-warping.

In addition to two USB ports, the kit features an RJ45 Ethernet port, a Broadcom Broadreach PHY and a built-in BNC connector, offering support for Ethernet over RG6 coaxial cable for distances of up to 700m at 100Mbps for customers incorporating compression encoders into their designs.

The development kit also supports programming over standard low-cost USB cable.

Tian Guang, chief technical officer of Bocom Digital Technology, a provider of urban surveillance, ITS and telematics systems in China, said: ‘The Lattice HDR-60 video camera development kit enables us to accelerate our camera design cycles and gives us significant advantages in the time to market.

‘The image quality and HDR performance offered by the IP are of a very high order, while its small footprint, fitting inside a LatticeECP3-35, allows us to offer our customers high-quality, truly differentiated HD cameras with HDR at very low system cost,’ added Guang.

The preloaded, production-ready evaluation camera reference design included with the kit is future proof, containing IP capable of being parameterised to support sensors up to 16 megapixels to protect the customer’s investment.

In addition to the onboard HDR ISP pipeline reference design, the kit is supported by an ISP library.

The ISP IP is available for licensing either standalone or bundled with devices from the low-power LatticeECP3 FPGA range, depending on customer requirements.

Niladri Roy, senior manager of product marketing at Lattice Semiconductor, said: ‘Our goal with the Lattice HDR-60 video camera development kit is to enable camera manufacturers to jumpstart their FPGA-based high-definition camera programs by providing a high-quality HDR video camera reference design engineered to minimise system BOM [bill of materials], while addressing both legacy infrastructure and future-proofing the customer’s investment.

‘With full 1080p60 support and the ability to scale up to 16MP sensors, as well as support for Ethernet over coaxial cable, the Lattice HDR-60 development kit offers nearly twice the functionality at less than half the price of any comparable kit currently available,’ added Roy.

Lattice Semiconductor

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