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Info-Imaging And IT: Can They Tie The Knot?
PROGRAMMABLE MEDIA PROCESSORS
HOUSTON, TX-While the market growth for digital media processors has languished from weak demand for VOD (Video on Demand), streaming video and multimedia communications applications, Texas Instruments (TI) enters into the foray with Equator Technology-the market leader-and TriMedia Technologies Inc. in what is expected to be an interesting battle for market share. TI readily admits that Equator sits alone on top of the hill, but that with reportedly full software programmability, TI enters the market with more than a glimmer of hope. Rather than chase an under-developed market for set-top boxes where promises of doing it all in one chip for the cable companies has yet to enjoy widespread success, the company has decided to open up the market for derivative products.
The 600 MHz DM642 software-programmable digital media processor is intended for new revenue sources in the service provider sector of the multimedia world. The company's video and imaging product portfolio now includes the TMS3200C6000 DSP platform, portable digital media such as TMS320C5000 DSP and OMAP platforms, and the TVP5200 video processor. Perhaps the real nugget is the eXpressDSP software-development environment, in which TI has claimed to have shipped toolboxes to over 100,00 seats since 1999. The company is promising full software programmability so that integrators can develop their programs with the latest algorithms and real-time ISO-based MPEG2 encode and decode software. What's more, TI's third-party software network is expected to deliver MPEG4, H.26L, H.263, AC-3, AAC and MPEG 3 capability.
On the flip side of the market, Equator Technologies is not sitting still. The firm recently announced it will demonstrate a variety of advanced smart camera and intelligent video security and surveillance at the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) International 2002 show in Philadelphia, September 10-13. The demonstrations with DynaPel, IQinVision, Reality Commerce Corporation and VCON will showcase applications based on Equator's Broadband Signal Processor (BSP™) family of chips, and will highlight motion-tracking, camera-steadying and face recognition, all for smart camera devices-as well as digital video recording and conferencing for storing and communicating video surveillance information.
Let the race begin.
NEW YORK-Converging, emerging or diverging is the issue that comes to mind when trying to assess the impact of electronic imaging on commercial IT (Information Technology) applications. At a recent IDC conference entitled "Imaging Convergence Forum" (New York City, August 6-7), a new twist on this ten-year-old debate was added with the terminology "info-imaging," which one of the speakers compared to some day having the impact of the Internet. However, the broad scope of issues and markets developed more into a "consume-imaging" conference with a heavy reliance on consumer buying habits for such items as digital cameras, and an overwhelming amount of time spent on Kodak versus HP and Kodak versus anon. Others showed off their new wireless devices with live video on screen. (click on graph for larger view)