Friday, March 16, 2012

Cisco buys NDS

Cisco Systems announced that it would be buying set-top box software maker the NDS Group for $5 billion in cash. NDS, founded in Israel in 1988 and now headquartered in London, focuses on seamless content streaming between different devices, as well as content protection security to combat piracy.

The firm already boasts media giants like British Sky Broadcasting and DirecTV as clients, as well as Sky Italia, and analysts believe the acquisition will boost Cisco’s Videoscape streaming platform and boost software revenue for the firm as its core networks business decreases.

The deal is likely to close by the end of 2012, after regulatory review, and NDS’s CEO Abe Peled will apparently transition to become a senior vice president and chief strategist for Cisco’s video and collaboration group.

Source: EEtimes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Light & depth sensor

Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology has created what they claim is the first CMOS sensor that can collect both visible light data (which you’d use for a normal digital image) and depth data (like a Kinect). It’s accomplished by mixing in depth-sensing pixels with the RGB photosites normally found on such sensors.

The sensor, strictly speaking, doesn’t capture an RGB and depth image at the same time due to wavelength filter restrictions, but it can effectively time-share the available resources to make it appear as though that’s the case. It captures a 1920×720 color image and a 480×360 depth image.

Source: TechCrunch.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

VP8 scalable hardware encoder

WebM project released the fifth generation of the hardware encoder for VP8, internally known as “Evergreen”. In this release they focused on improving the real-time communication features and on optimizing the encoding speed and visual quality.

In particular, they have now enabled temporal and spatial scalability for VP8 video coding, a valuable feature for live streaming, multi-way video conferencing and security applications.

Reportedly, there are no companies offering ITU-T/MPEG SVC (scalable video coding) hardware encoders for chipset manufacturers at the moment. With this release, VP8 now offers scalable coding at the hardware level.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Qualcomm shows HEVC

Qualcomm demonstrated a preliminary version of HEVC (ITU-T/MPEG High Efficiency Video Coding) video on an Android tablet at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona.

In the demo, Qualcomm showed a side-by-side comparison of AVC and HEVC video on an Android tablet powered by a current-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor running at 1.5GHz. The video, showing race cars peeling around a track, played at a bit rate of 610 kilobits per second on HEVC compared to 1,183Kbps for AVC. The size of the video file itself was 3.10 MB for HEVC vs 6.01 MB for AVC. Each video had 800x480-pixel resolution.

Source: Cnet.