Ambarella Announces Android-compatible Image Processor for Digital Cameras

Dec 24, 2010
Hideyoshi Kume & Phil Keys, Nikkei Electronics
The "iOne," an image processor supporting Android
The "iOne," an image processor supporting Android
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The block diagram of the iOne
The block diagram of the iOne
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A development kit
A development kit
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A demonstration of operating Android applications on the development kit
A demonstration of operating Android applications on the development kit
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Ambarella Inc announced a new image processor that is designed for digital cameras, camcorders, etc and supports Google Inc's Android platform.

The company plans to demonstrate a device equipped with the processor, "iOne," at the 2011 International CES, a trade show that will take place from Jan 6 to 9, 2011, in Las Vegas, the US.

"The iOne is targeted at devices used to take still and moving images such as the iPod touch, which can operate applications software, rather than smartphones," Ambarella said.

With the iOne, it becomes possible to use services and applications for Android by using digital cameras. Android has been employed mainly for smartphones, but it takes a little long to start up the cameras embedded in Android-based smartphones, the company said. Therefore, Android has never been employed for digital cameras, it said.

The iOne is capable of streaming video in real time via a wireless LAN and uploading files to video sharing Websites.

It features three CPU cores to support Android and use various applications. They are ARM Ltd's "ARM11" (533MHz) for cameras, "Cortex-A9" (1GHz) for Android applications and Imagination Technologies Ltd's "PowerVR SGX540" IP core for processing graphics.

Also, the processor is capable of taking and storing 3D images. It is combined with the "S3D" preprocessor, which Ambarella announced in November 2010.

The company is now shipping samples of the iOne and offering a development kit. It will start volume production in the second quarter of 2011. And products equipped with the image processor will debut in the market in the third quarter of 2011 at the earliest, it said.

Though the price of the processor has not been disclosed, Ambarella said, "Currently, SoCs for digital cameras are priced at about 10 US dollars in the market. Because the iOne has more functions, its price will be higher."