Traffic camera system utilises FPGA for license plate detection

15th June 2017
Lanna Cooper

Lattice Semiconductor has announced the implementation of its ECP5 FPGA into embedded vision applications for smart surveillance and automotive applications at the Edge. Reinforcing Lattice’s commitment to the industrial and automotive markets, the company’s ECP5 family of low power, small form factor FPGAs enables CPU acceleration for license plate detection and image enhancement in intelligent traffic cameras.

In addition, Lattice’s ECP5 FPGA enables the integration of image stitching and 3D merging for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) 360° surround view systems.

Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS), including traffic flow monitoring, traffic violations identification, smart parking, and toll collection are a key part of the vision of tomorrow’s Smart Cities. Such systems typically require intelligent traffic cameras that can accurately detect many aspects of a vehicle, such as license plates, even in harsh environments, to perform video analytics at the Edge, rather than sending raw video streams back to the Cloud. Shanghai Microsharp Intelligent Technology, (Microsharp) is one such company that offers intelligent traffic cameras with up to 95% license plate recognition rate.

“When seeking a partner to collaborate on our intelligent traffic camera, we were looking for a scalable, low power solution to ensure flawless real time license plate image capture,” said Ting Zhou, CEO of Microsharp. “Lattice’s ECP5 FPGA was a natural fit, allowing us to take advantage of the product’s energy efficient image enhancement and processing capabilities to accelerate the development of our intelligent camera.”

360° surround view system is a popular automotive ADAS technology for parking assistance. These systems typically capture their surroundings using at least four cameras facing different directions around the car to generate a composite view for the driver to assist with parking and low speed maneuvering. The NEX-ADAS 360° 3-D Surround View Monitoring Technology from Shenzhen Moorechip Technologies (Moorechip) synthesises images from four cameras to create a sophisticated, real world 3D view of a vehicle's surroundings.

“Lattice’s ECP5 FPGA family offers the low power, small form factor and flexible connectivity requirements needed to support our ADAS 360 surround view system, providing advanced, high quality image-stitching technologies to further differentiate our product from others on the market,” said Andrew Liu, General Manager at Moorechip. “We look forward to continuing our work with Lattice on future intelligent systems that leverage their embedded vision solutions.”

“ECP5 FPGAs are ideal for flexible connectivity and acceleration at the Edge, due to their low power consumption and small form factor,” said Deepak Boppana, Director, Product Marketing at Lattice Semiconductor. “As intelligence at the Edge continues to grow, our solutions, including the new Embedded Vision Development Kit, will help accelerate the adoption of mobile-influenced technology in systems including robotics, drones, machine vision, smart surveillance cameras and ADAS.”

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