By Rumman Syed, On Demand Microelectronics
Mar 3 2006 (2:15 AM), Video/Imaging DesignLine
Image processing is a challenging discipline: high processing power is required to calculate image adjustments in real-time. Since the standards by which a qualitative picture is measured by are relative, experts have to face a serious debate, as defining the quality of an image still lies in the eye of the beholder.
Pictor image processing aims at providing adjustable high-quality images. The programmable features of Pictor mean a major step forward compared to other non-programmable image processing solutions which are currently offered on the market.
Maximum output through parallelism
Pictor is designed for real time image processing. It supports HD resolutions including 1080i. The core of the programmable platform is the VSP. The VSP, explained in detail in the next section, is made for digital signal processing applications and has high processing power and an equivalently high data bandwidth with low power usage. The image processor has a VLIW fixed-point arithmetic architecture and consists of parallel processing units (slices). Pictor has -- in comparison to the Video VSP used in the Scaleable Video Engine (SVEN) -- slices with separate quad data paths. The architecture of Pictor can, therefore, achieve a processing power of approximately 176 in complex giga-operations at only 230 MHz.
In addition, Pictor comes with special instructions including: SAD (SUM of Absolute Difference) and minimum-maximum search, which supports calculations in only one clock cycle. All image-processing algorithms are software implemented without requiring an additional hardware accelerator.