4K video processor consumes low power

OmniVision OA805
OmniVision's OA805 video processor supports high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) compression with reportedly the lowest power consumption in the industry. (OmniVision)

Applications such as home security have increased the use high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) for video streaming over wireless networks. However, that compression technique is computationally intensive and consumes considerable power. OmniVision Technologies Inc. has developed the OA805a video processor that supports high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) compression with reportedly the lowest power consumption in the industry.

Because of its power efficiency, the video processor makes it possible to use HEVC for battery-powered security cameras and video doorbells for the first time, said the company.

The OA805 has a boot-up time that is reportedly significantly faster than its nearest competitor. This rapid startup eliminates any delay between motion detection and video recording, potentially allowing the camera to instantly alert users of suspicious activities. Within 0.1 seconds (100 ms), the OA805 can go from completely powered off to fully functional. This also allows the OA805 to boot-up only at the moment when motion is detected in the security camera's field of view, thus avoiding the need for a standby or sleep mode. Because the processor consumes no power when it is off, the security camera’s overall power consumption is extremely low and allows the camera to have up to two years of battery life.

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"High-end surveillance cameras need video processors that can cope with high-definition 4K resolution video streams. However, high resolution video translates into high power consumption, and manufacturers have had to either settle for lower resolution video to conserve power in their battery-powered systems, or to rely on hard-wired solutions," said David Ho, product marketing manager at OmniVision. "With the OA805, this power versus resolution trade-off is eliminated."

The OA805 is a system-on-chip (SoC) that features dual embedded Arm Cortex-A5 CPU cores with Neon technology for faster audio and video encoding/decoding, along with image processing, video encoding hardware and RGB/IR processing. Its high dynamic range (HDR) processing capability allows the OA805 to accept input from RBG/IR image sensors and support high-quality displays, for videos taken during the day or at night, in conditions with widely contrasting bright and dark images.

As an upgrade from OmniVision's OV798, the OA805 adds HEVC capability, consumes less power, boots up faster and offers higher resolution processing. This video processor accepts up to 16-megapixel captures from an image sensor and outputs up to 4K resolution video at 30 frames per second (fps) using HEVC encoding and decoding. It also supports multiple video streams at lower resolution, including H.264 1080p resolution at 60fps, as well as HDR and RGB-IR.

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