Allwinner unveiled a Cortex-A7 based SoC for smart connected cameras that integrates its HawkView image signal processor, and supports Linux and “Camdroid.”
Allwinner jumped on the ARM Cortex-A7 spec early, using it for its popular, low-priced system-on-chips like the Allwinner A10, dual-core A20, and quad-core A31. Like the A10, Allwinner’s new “V3” SoC has a single Cortex-A7 core, in this case clocked to 1.2GHz. However, Like a number of TI’s Linux-focused, DSP-based DaVinci SoCs, the V3 is designed for camera applications. It follows Allwinner V-Series SoCs including the quad-core, Cortex-A7 V10 and Cortex-A8-based V15.
Allwinner V3 block diagram (left) and in a typical simultanous front and rear camera 1080p encoding scenario
(click images to enlarge)
Like the V10, the Allwinner V3 integrates a HawkView ISP (image signal processor) that is capable of 2D/3D noise reduction, defect pixel correction, and distortion correction, says Allwinner. The V3 SoC also incorporates 8-megapixel sensors, and offers an optimized 1080p HD video encoding engine that supports up to 70 frames per second encoding in H.264 format. Alternatively, you can perform dual-channel [email protected] encoding or simultaneous front and rear camera [email protected] encoding,
While the V15 and most other Allwinner SoCs have included ARM Mali-400 GPUs, and the V10 sports a PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU, the V3 gets by with a simple RGB/LVDS LCD controller. The V3 supports WiFi or 3G/4G connectivity, enabling a V3-based camera to be controlled wirelessly from a smartphone or other remote device.
V3 encoding at 60fps (left) and in dual-channel, 30fps mode
(click images to enlarge)
The V3 supports ADAS (Advance Driver Assistant System) algorithms. As a result, the SoC enables automotive camera features like FCWS (Forward Collision Warning System) and LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System), says the company.
The Allwinner V3 is “the world’s first camera solution that supports recompilation of FHD MJPEG [full HD Motion JPEG] into H.264 format,” says Allwinner. Other features include time lapse photography, an audio codec, and support for MIPI CSI, parallel CSI, EMAC with PHY, USB, SD, and other industrial and serial I/O.
The 12 x 12mm, 0.65-pitch SoC supports 16-bit DDR3/LPDDR3/DDR3L RAM, as well as DDR2 RAM, and integrates AES/DES security. Power consumption is said to be “extremely low.” The V3 can run Linux, as well as Allwinner’s own lightweight spin on Android, called Camdroid OS. Camdroid is capable of running entirely in NOR flash, says the company.
The first action cam using the Allwinner V3 will arrive in the second quarter. More information should eventually appear on the Allwinner website.