IP Core Takes The Shackles Off Camera Designers

Pinnacle Imaging Systems’ proprietary, Denali-MC camera-ready HDR Image Signal Processor (ISP) IP core relies on advanced algorithms to accurately tone map high contrast scenes while minimizing HDR motion artifacts. The ISP is able to render vastly greater shadow and highlight data from a high contrast scene making it an ideal integration for camera designers seeking to optimize image detail for surveillance cameras, automotive ADAS cameras, intelligent traffic systems, commercial drones and machine vision systems.


Industry Applications and Validation

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The Denali-MC HDR ISP cores are adapted from Pinnacle Imaging’s patented HDR technology modeled on true human vision. The technology ensures preservation of a scene’s true color fidelity and full contrast range throughout the tone mapping process, all without producing halos, color shifts, undesired motion artifacts, or requiring external logic. Denali-MC is able to streamline HDR deployment for developers, reducing hardware costs in the process.


As the demands on video analytics become more complex, whether by end users or integrated autonomous systems, Denali-MC’s locally adaptive tone mapping technology directly results in more detail for surveillance video, intelligent traffic systems, commercial drones, machine vision, and body-worn cameras. For image analysis purposes, the rich source data can help improve automotive advanced driver systems, autonomous vehicle development, machine vision, and more.


Key Features


For engineers and camera designers seeking to deliver the highest-quality video content, Denali-MC instantly provides a 16-bit data path capable of producing 100 dB or 16-EV steps of dynamic range. Denali-MC HDR IP completely eliminates halo artifacts and color shifts, and mitigates the ghost artifacts and transition noise often seen when merging multiple exposures. This allows Denali-MC to capture up to four exposure frames from 1080p video at 120 fps, while merging and tone mapping at 30 fps in real time. For applications requiring faster output frame rates, Denali-MC also supports a two frame merge mode exporting at 60 fps. Furthermore, Denali-MC can support up to 29 different CMOS sensors, 12 different HDR modes and is easily ported to the most widely-used logic platforms. 


Integration with Third Party ISPs


While Denali-MC is available as a complete camera ready ISP, Pinnacle Imaging’s Merge and Tone Mapping HDR IP cores can also be easily integrated into third-party ISPs making it ideal for developers and engineers seeking a stand-alone HDR solution for their existing imaging pipeline. The merge block accepts raw Bayer data as input and provides tone mapped Bayer data back to the ISP. 


Currently, available configurations have been developed for Xilinx Zynq FPGA platforms. Pinnacle Imaging is also able to provide customizable IP blocks for Altera/Intel and other FPGA platforms as well as ASIC implementation.


 HDR-Specific Features

  • Advanced motion compensation algorithms virtually eliminate HDR merge artifacts and transition noise  
  • Proprietary Locally Adaptive Tone Mapping technology preserves color fidelity through the entire tonal range without creating halo artifacts or color shifts
  • Automatic EV bracketing
  • Automatic or manual contrast adaptation for global or local video correction
  • React™ concurrent still frame and video capture feature, non-destructively extracts four source LDR Bayer images, merged Bayer HDR, tone mapped Bayer or HDMI RGB still frames without interrupting video
  • Ability to capture separate HDR and tone mapped output video streams concurrently (ideal for ADAS applications)
  • Two or four frame multiple exposure merge (with Sony IMX290 implementation)
  • HDR + Low illumination capabilities with Sony IMX290 sensor enable 24/7 round the clock video capture capabilities for any contrast and lighting condition


Standard ISP Features

  • Automatic and manual exposure (including highlights/shadows auto tracking modes)
  • Automatic and manual white balance
  • Auto gain
  • Digital black level and gain pre-compensation for RGGB
  • Black level and gain compensation
  • Veiling glare correction
  • Noise reduction
  • Local and global contrast adjustment (HDR)
  • Bad pixel correction
  • Automatic and manual Region of Interest (ROI) selection
  • Signal to noise measurements, histogram calculation
  • De-Mosaicing
  • 50/60 Hz ambient artificial lighting sync
  • 180° display rotation


More information and sample footage captured with the Denali-MC HDR ISP is available.

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