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Analog Devices' Blackfin combines processing power, security and ease-of-programming to deliver live video to mobile phones

8th August 2006
ES Admin
Looking for a quiet restaurant? Or, wondering if the party has started at your favourite night club? Live video streams to the mobile phones of would-be diners and dancers lets them look inside. An innovative new wireless application called the IRIS(TM) camera uses the Blackfin(R) processor from Analog Devices, Inc. to secure and stream video from a camera to an enabled portable device, such as a GPRS or 3G phone, or laptop. The IRIS(TM) camera can be deployed in a variety of applications ranging from a creative marketing channel for businesses to a home or office surveillance system.
The IRIS technology (www.iris.tv) transmits live or recorded video to a mobile device over a standard mobile phone network. Blackfin’s RISC-like instruction simplified the porting of algorithms such as the MPEG4 Common Image Format. Because the IRIS technology enables multiple users to access the same camera, data security was a key consideration. Blackfin encrypts the video from end-to-end, ensuring that it will not be tampered with by unauthorized users.

The IRIS technology is the result of a joint venture between wireless multimedia specialist Pedagog Ltd and Bridisco - the UK's largest electrical distributor.

“One of the major issues facing today’s content providers is digital rights management (DRM),” said Dr. Olinga Ta’eed, CEO, Pedagog Limited. “The Blackfin processor provided the video processing capabilities we needed to deliver image sizes from 80 x 60 to 160 x 120 from the IRIS camera to consumer mobile devices, but it also provided the instruction set and RISC processor capabilities needed to secure data at all points of the delivery cycle.”

The camera is ideal for home and business video surveillance – for instance, the camera features motion detection sensors, which can alert users via text message of movement – but it is also being used as a direct marketing tool. For example, nightclubs are using the technology to provide potential club goers with a sneak peek of activity at the club to draw them in. Similar to Internet search engines, Pedagog charges for search optimization, enabling companies to be ranked in search results for public phones.

“The unique control and signal processing capabilities of the Blackfin processor make it ideal for multimedia data delivery that requires DRM,” said John Croteau, General Manager, Convergent Platforms and Services Group, Analog Devices. “The encryption and decryption part of DRM involves some fairly heavy math lifting which makes the real-time capabilities ideal for processors that do digital signal processing. However, there is also a control, administrative and management side to DRM that requires the use of a good RISC processor. By combining control and signal processing on one chip, the Blackfin processor eliminates the complicated partitioning of a multiple processor system and enables companies like Pedagog to unleash new consumer applications to the market with ease and in record time.”

A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing

Analog Devices’ Blackfin embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processor with the industry’s highest performance and power efficiency for applications where a convergence of capabilities – multi-format audio, video, voice and image processing; multi-mode baseband and packet processing; and real-time security and control processing – are critical. It is this powerful combination of software flexibility and scalability that has gained Blackfin widespread adoption in convergent applications such as digital home entertainment; networked and streaming media; automotive telematics and infotainment; and digital radio and mobile TV.

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