AnaFocus chooses Altera embedded solutions for single-chip vision system

April 4, 2007
APRIL 4--AnaFocus (Seville, Spain) has chosen Altera (San Jose, CA, USA) embedded solutions to develop Eye-RIS, a single-chip camera and image processor.

APRIL 4--AnaFocus (Seville, Spain;, a provider of high-performance vision systems on a chip, has chosen Altera (San Jose, CA, USA; embedded solutions to develop Eye-RIS, a single-chip camera and image processor. The 0.18-μm device meets the high-performance control and postscreening video requirements of Eye-RIS's target applications by using Altera's Nios II embedded processor integrated with AnaFocus's smart image sensor (SIS) technology. By using an Altera FPGA/discrete SIS chip-based development board, AnaFocus was able to create and validate the system architecture for an application with front-end image-processing sensor elements similar to those found in the retina of the human eye.

"We chose Altera's flexible Nios II embedded processor for image postprocessing and overall system control of the Eye-RIS system because it enabled us to quickly prototype and validate our system," said Angel Rodriguez-Vázquez, chief executive officer of AnaFocus. "Adding custom control interfaces and I/O ports to the processor using Altera's SOPC Builder development tool allowed us to develop an optimized architecture for the Eye-RIS vision system while meeting our production schedule and cost targets."

AnaFocus also enhanced Altera's Eclipse-based Nios II integrated development environment (IDE) by adding custom plug-ins and libraries to create a complete image-processing algorithm design and debug environment for developers of Eye-RIS-based vision systems. The end result is an integrated, user-friendly IDE that reduces development time for complex vision processing systems.

AnaFocus has developed several generations of SIS architectures but this is the first time an SIS has been used to deliver a single-chip vision system. The high frame rates, low power consumption, and reduced size of this system compared to traditional CCD/CMOS image sensor and digital-signal processor solution allows video processing to be applied in many applications where previously the size, cost, and power consumption were prohibitive. Intelligent automotive airbag deployment systems that adapt to the aspect and number of occupants, security surveillance systems with intelligent cameras that can automatically detect, report, and track suspicious activity, and vision-based human-computer interfaces for consumer electronic equipment are some of the possible applications.

AnaFocus, a spin-off of the Institute of Microelectronics of Seville (Spain) and the University of Seville, is developing a family of high-performance on-chip CMOS vision systems. These bio-inspired systems use proprietary hardware/software architectures to achieve compact implementations with high-speed operation and low power consumption.

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