EVA Summit bigger than ever

In the last week of May, the Embedded Vision Summit West took place again in Santa Clara, California. With close to 500 attendees, 30 companies exhibiting, and two tracks of talks, the conference was bigger than ever. Facebook andGoogle each gave very interesting keynotes. Facebook’s Yann LeCun spoke about convolutional networks, which are closely linked to deep learning. He showed some impressive demonstrations, being able to real-time train his PC to recognize the audience, a laptop, and his shoes. Google spoke about, what else can it be, their self-driving car project. Shortly before the show, they announced their 25Mph car. Their vision-based project Tango was presented in the members-only meeting the next day.

Key driving applications from the show:

  • Automotive: cameras are replacing your eyes and help you drive safely on the roads.
  • Mobile: augmented reality, gesture interfaces, depth cameras, and smart camera apps
  • New class of emerging applications: autonomously flying and tracking consumer drones and always-on camera-enabled wearable devices.

At our booth we showed key computer vision algorithms such as face detection, feature detection / tracking, and multi-format HD codecs, all running on the same videantis processor, offloading the host-processor, gaining a power savings of 1000x and a performance gain of 100x. For automotive applications, we showed pedestrian detection and our low-delay (<1ms!) H.264 10/12-bit codec. On display was our development system which holds our 40nm-based 10-core SOC, and can run stand-alone, hooked up to a PC, or connected to an Android-based tablet.

Read our full show report

We’re 10 years in business

In May we celebrated our 10-year anniversary. Since 2004, videantis has organically grown from a small company offering a single-core video processor for standard definition applications into an organization that serves customers around the globe, shipping into a variety of markets, including high-volume mobile and automotive applications. We celebrated this event with the obligatory visit to a true German biergarten.

Key company milestones:

1997: Founders start developing parallel media processors
2003: ISSCC’04: World’s first multi-core 0.18um SOC running MPEG-4 ASP
2004: Spin out of Leibniz Universität Hannover with first licensee
2005: First set top box and media player design wins. Multi-core IP family introduced at Microprocessor Forum
2006: Dual-core 65nm chip with Infineon, Chartered, IBM, and Samsung
2007: First licensee in Asia, IP videophone design win
2008: First automotive and mobile design wins
2009: World’s first internet-connected set-top box enabled by videantis IP
2010: Low power 10-core v-MP4000HDX 40nm chip with Infineon and TSMC
2011: First licensees for computer vision and ultra-low delay codec. Deloitte Fast 50 award
2012: Robert Bosch takes license for in-vehicle infotainment solutions
2013: Round of funding to accelerate growth. Computer vision partner program with 3 launching partners
2014: Red Herring Top 100 award

Read our full press release

Meet our new VP sales: Tony Picard

Last week we announced that Tony Picard has joined the company as our vice president of sales, reporting to CEO Hans-Joachim Stolberg. Tony will be responsible for driving customer success and further adoption of the videantisunified video/vision processor IP.

Tony brings over twenty years of sales, marketing and management experience, with a proven track record in the semiconductor IP business and multimedia applications. Previously at ARM, Tony contributed to the success of the Mali product line, and at Silicon Hive he focused on camera processing, which led to the company’s acquisition by Intel. We’re excited to bring him on board and look forward to his contributions to our rapidly growing customer base.

Read our full press release

Interesting industry news

Google’s Project Tango tablet powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1

Google’s ATAP group announced the vision-centric Project Tango in February this year, with a smartphone design with many optical sensors that was distributed to about 200 developers. This time, they’re one-upping themselves: they’ll be distributing a new device to about 4000 developers. What’s new? The 7” tablet form-factor and an NVIDIA Tegra K1 inside. At the EVA member meeting, project lead Johnny Lee showed how the device can do accurate vision-based indoor navigation (1% accuracy) and highlighted augmented reality gaming.

Google driverless car
Google’s Technical Lead Nathaniel Fairfield gave keynote on their driverless car project (excellent talk available after registration). Before removing the driver, Nathaniel showed how Google maps the area in detail first. Google is planning to stick to using a laser-based range finder system for now, even though they’re expensive (estimated at ~$20K). Their system works in fog or rain, with the car automatically reducing its speed. It doesn’t work with snow though, which is probably fine for Silicon Valley, but not for New York or Japan.

Microsoft Xbox One drops Kinect?
In 2010, Microsoft introduced the Kinect depth sensor, which brought computer vision to the gaming masses. Often hailed as a key embedded vision success story, Microsoft’s announcement to drop the Kinect as part of their standard Xbox One offering caused some confusion. Our take? It’s all about pricing. Microsoft Xbox One sales is trailing Sony’s PS4’s and dropping the Kinect means Microsoft could also reduce the price by $100 to $399. Speaking about cost, our 5-core v-MP4140HDX vision subsystem is well under 1mm2 of silicon in 28nm.

Camera-enabled glasses, not a Google-only territory anymore
While Google Glass is the best-known smart glass device out there, many other companies have introduced similar devices. At the augmented world expo, quite a few people were showing neat demonstrations based on the Epson Moverio BT-200 for instance. Another company working in this space: Olympus. There are two key limiting factors to these devices: performance and energy consumption. We’re closely watching this space, as we pride ourselves in being the number-of-vision-ops-per-Watt leader.

Upcoming events

TSMC Tech Symposium June 17, Amsterdam Meet with us at this key TSMC event
Image Sensors Automotive June 17-18, Crowne Plaza, Brussels, Belgium Talk to us at this key automotive image sensor event
European Nanoelectronics Design Technology Conference June 23-24, Minatec, Grenoble, France Marco Jacobs is on the “What are the next growth areas in multimedia?” panel
ARM TechCon October 1-3, 2014, Santa Clara, California Meet us at this key SOC design event
2014 Ethernet & IP @ Automotive Technology Day 23-24 October 2014, Detroit, Michigan Come see our automotive demonstrations


Schedule a meeting with us by sending an e-mail to sales@videantis.com. We’re always interested in discussing your video and vision SOC design ideas and challenges. We look forward to talking with you!