Alliance Membership Expansion Is Going Great: This Post Will Get You Up To Date
One of the many things that are nice (along with, admittedly, a bit nerve-wracking) about my Editor-in-Chief role at the Embedded Vision Alliance is that there's never any shortage or diversity of projects to work on. There never seem to be enough hours in a given day to get everything done that I'd like to tackle. And, since human cloning hasn't yet been perfected (at least to the best of my knowledge), some to-dos inevitably get deferred.
It's long nagged at me, for example, that I haven't formally informed you via this news forum of the Alliance's latest members, subsequent to the early-December 2012 press release that announced Digital Media Professionals and LSI, and aside from brief mentions in Embedded Vision Insights newsletter intros. I've found myself with a few spare moments in-between meetings, so here goes...
I first mentioned PathPartner Technology, an India-based engineering services company, in the January 3 edition of Embedded Vision Insights. Here's the company's entry on the Alliance member page:
PathPartner Technology is an embedded multimedia company. It provides of software solutions, product engineering services, system integration and technology consulting that enable the development and deployment of convergence devices for mobile, digital home, video surveillance, video conferencing, automotive vision, industrial and thin-client markets. Embedded vision is a key focus area for PathPartner. PathPartner offers services & solutions in embedded vision markets covering vision based automotive safety, video analytics for surveillance market, industrial vision and vision applications for consumers. PathPartner’s excellent background in vision algorithms and efficient realization of vision algorithms on embedded platforms help the semiconductor companies and device makers in realizing the best-in-class solutions for the embedded vision market.
The January 29 edition of Embedded Vision Insights included mention of Tensilica, who subsequently revealed that it was in the process of being acquired by Cadence. Here's a company summary:
Tensilica's highly specialized processors – aka dataplane processor units (DPUs) – sit alongside the central applications processor, often on the same chip. These specialized processors are extremely small and consume very little power, yet they perform at ever-increasing speeds. Each DPU can be tailored to an exact application with absolutely no waste – of power, area, or performance. Tensilica applies the latest in Cloud-enabled automation techniques to allow the DPUs to be easily modified for the exact application requirements. The company uses this same technology to create standardized solutions that can still be further customized. Tensilica also provides the complete solution – not just processor IP – so you can get the software and reference design information you need to quickly design the company's IP into your chip designs. As the recognized leader in customizable DPUs, Tensilica is helping top-tier semiconductor companies, innovative start-ups and system OEMs build high-volume, trend-setting products.
Two weeks later, Embedded Vision Insights brought word of GEO Semiconductor's addition to the Alliance. In early December (PDF), GEO Semi had initiated the process of acquiring the video processing business of fellow Alliance member Maxim Integrated Products; the transaction was completed roughly one month later (PDF). GEO Semi's Alliance member page entry says:
GEO Semiconductor is a pioneer in geometric correction for images and video. GEO’s proprietary algorithms allow for incredibly efficient, low latency transforms to correct, dewarp and calibrate video from any lens or sensor configuration. GEO’s intelligent and infinitely configurable warping engine enables embedded vision systems to capture images in an ultra-wide field of view, breaking open new opportunities for innovation in automotive, consumer and industrial markets. With the addition of the Mobilygen/Maxim H.264 video compression and human interface business in 2012, GEO added the capabilities to compress, process and transport video to enable a new class of camera and vision systems that are connected to the cloud as well as enable new methods of interacting with devices through gesture and voice recognition.
Two weeks later, I told you about two new members, SoftKinetic and FireFly DSP. SoftKinetic, a time-of-flight sensor (and related technologies) developer, may already be known to some of you via its partnerships with Intel, Texas Instruments and other companies. Here's the company's description:
SoftKinetic is the leading provider of end-to-end natural gesture recognition solutions. These include 3D CMOS Time-of-Flight sensors, cameras and embedded modules (DepthSense®), natural gesture recognition middleware (iisu®), and games and applications from SoftKinetic Studios. SoftKinetic wants to give everyone the freedom to control, explore and enjoy the entire digital world through the most natural and intuitive user interfaces and machine interactions. The company partners with leading semiconductor companies, platform manufacturers, service providers, application developers, and research institutes to revolutionize the end-user experience in the professional, automotive and consumer electronics markets including PCs, laptops and Smart TVs.
You won't yet find any information on FireFly DSP at the Alliance member page, because the company's membership isn't effective until April 1. But here's a preview, from the company website:
FireFly is a new generation of embedded DSP services and IP company. Conceived from a set of 21st century requirements – and the latest advances in hardware and software technologies – the FireFly approach starts by helping analyze customers´ system-level requirements alongside their algorithm processing needs and software development desires – and implements a system-wide DSP solution that balances performance, code size and silicon costs while enabling a modern software development environment. Moreover, the FireFly team has a collection of proprietary and patent-pending IP that we use to deliver results that accelerate application code development while also reducing instruction memory requirements by up to 25% and costs by up to 50%.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that Qualcomm had joined the Alliance effective March 1. In addition to supplying the well-known Snapdragon line of ARM-based application processors, Qualcomm develops a number of other key embedded vision innovations: the Vuforia augmented reality software platform, for example, and the FastCV algorithm library and API. Here's a summary:
Qualcomm Incorporated is the world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm's licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm's engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other.
And finally, in today's edition of Embedded Vision Insights, which just got sent out, you'll find mention of Fidus Systems. As with FireFly DSP, Fidus's membership will be active beginning on April 1. But here's a sneak peak at the company description, which you'll find on the Alliance member page in a few days:
Fidus Systems brings over 1000 projects and a decade of high-speed, high-complexity electronic design services capabilities to the Embedded Vision Alliance. As an inaugural Xilinx Premier Design Services Member, Fidus is uniquely positioned and capable of enabling vision systems by implementing EVA member hardware solutions, and then adding the custom digital signal processing that differentiates your offering. Whether you require turnkey Electronic Product Development, Staffing, or Consulting, Fidus offers world-class capabilities in Hardware, FPGA, and Signal Integrity design. These capabilities are further supported by our expertise in Embedded Software and Mechanical design. With this breadth of knowledge, Fidus is your optimal choice for leading edge designs that require the flexibility and performance made possible by today’s Video, Embedded Processor, FPGA, and DDR3 technologies. With design centers in Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, and San Jose, Fidus is ready to enable your next product.
I think I'm now up to date...at least until the next wave of companies joins the Alliance, which should be quite soon. Trust me, it's a good "problem" to have!