ARTPEC-4 and the industry

With a press release from Axis Communications announcing their latest generation ARTPEC-4 SoC, IMS Research ponders on what this means for the industry.
By Gary Wong, Senior Analyst, Video Surveillance and VCA, IMS Research January 13, 2012

With a press release from Axis Communications announcing their latest generation ARTPEC-4 SoC, IMS Research ponders on what this means for the industry.

The release from Axis highlights the two key advantages of this new chip:

“…a powerful CPU and a coprocessor for accelerating video analytics…. boasts more processing power for intelligent video analytics.”
and

“…lower noise and higher light sensitivity for sharper images of moving objects”.

One of the inhibitors to “intelligent” edge devices has historically been the lack of processor resource for video analytics. With the rapid growth of HD and high megapixel network security cameras, much of the available processing resource within cameras has been prioritised for video compression/transmission purposes. The launch of Texas Instruments’ DVMA1 SoC in 2010 looked to address this with “a vision co-processor for smart analytics”. However, since its launch, edge-based analytics has yet to be widely embraced.

IMS Research believes the announcement from Axis could prove to be a turning point for edge-based video analytics as the leading manufacturer of network security cameras is seemingly looking to move (at least some) analytics to the edge. Furthermore IMS Research believes that other manufacturers will increasingly announce cameras with analytics onboard through 2012. Whilst analytics is still not an essential feature for most customer, it is an interesting differentiator and marketing tool, other manufacturers are likely to develop edge-based analytics capability to remain competitive.

IMS Research’s “Trends for 2012 – Video Surveillance Trends for the Year Ahead” paper also stated that there would be a renewed focus on image quality in 2012. HD and megapixel has been the focus of most manufacturers attentions’ over the last 24 months and this level of resolution is increasing becoming an expectation rather than a unique feature. To remain competitive, manufacturers will need to look at innovations beyond resolution. The release states that “ARTPEC-4 is the key to Axis’s Lightfinder technology”, enabling the capture of colour video in low light conditions. Having spoken with vendors in advance of our forthcoming report on the global video surveillance market, IMS Research believes that low light and wide dynamic range will be two big pushes for all camera manufacturers in 2012.