Artificial Intelligence

Four-channel video decoder improves driver safety

13th June 2014
Nat Bowers

Designed for around-view automotive applications, Intersil has announced a four-channel analogue video decoder with a built-in analogue video encoder. The TW9966 can replace up to five discrete components to simplify design and save board space with four analogue video decoders and an analogue video encoder integrated into a single chip.

Based on Intersil's market leading multi-channel video surveillance technology, the video decoder and encoder is optimised for automotive applications, offering the industry's best analogue decoding performance resulting in excellent picture quality for generating 360º surround images for drivers.

To increase driver safety and reduce damage to vehicles, many leading automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are providing around-view technology as an option in their latest models. An around-view monitor, also referred to as a surround view monitor, processes video from four cameras and then combines the four images into a single birds-eye view as if a camera was stationed directly above the vehicle. The monitor helps drivers visually confirm the vehicle's position relative to surrounding objects for easy manoeuvring. The Intersil TW9966 decoder and encoder provides consumers with superb, detailed, high-quality video, enhancing their ability to see objects around the car.

The TW9966 is able to deliver best-in-class video quality from analogue camera sources because of Intersil's precision ADC technology and proprietary comb filter integrated on chip.The TW9966 integrates four high quality NTSC/PAL analogue video decoders with 10-bit ADCs to support: four analogue camera inputs, a flexible digital output interface that sends the images to a processor that combines the four images into the unified around-view module, and one analogue video encoder that outputs the combined video as an analogue composite signal to the display, all in a single-chip solution. The TW9966 also incorporates analogue anti-aliasing filters on each channel input to further reduce component count. The high level of integration helps to simplify the system design and minimise the solution footprint to preserve critical board space.

Intersil's video decoder and encoder provides performance, quality and flexibility to enable automotive designers to program multiple system architecture options in terms of routing multiple channels of video to the back-end processor or FPGA, resulting in optimised board design and reduced cost. The TW9966 offers a digital output interface to support up to three different configurations: standard ITU-R BT.656 format output on four 8-bit buses at 27MHz; time multiplexed byte interleaved output to send two channels on a single 8-bit bus at 54MHz; or all four channels on a single 8-bit bus at 108MHz. The TW9966 also includes a phased-lock loop (PLL) to generate the 54 or 108MHz output, requiring only a lower cost 27MHz oscillator as a reference.

Philip Chesley, Vice President, Precision Products, Intersil, comments: "Intersil has been a leader in multi-channel decoder technology supporting complex security surveillance systems for years. The performance we've been able to deliver in a single chip through our innovative architecture uniquely addresses the requirements of the latest vehicles while providing drivers with premium analogue video decoding quality and a better experience to improve overall safety."

The TW9966 four-channel analogue video decoder and encoder is available now, priced at $5.00 (USD).

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