Simplifying image signal processing for sensors

15th January 2019
Alex Lynn

Provider of innovative image and video processing technologies, intoPIX, presented the new TICO-RAW technology at CES, which aims to drastically simplify the way we deal with image sensor video data. Thanks to the technology’s innovative low-complexity processing and coding, the full power of the image sensor is preserved while significantly reducing the transmission bandwidth, power-consumption and storage needs.

intoPIX’s Director of Marketing and Sales, Jean-Baptiste Lorent pointed out: “Image sensors are used everywhere and to meet the demands for higher quality video and better analytics, the usage of uncompressed or RAW files can’t be ignored. However, without using smart processing and coding, bandwidth and file sizes exceed the limits of most of our devices and interface capabilities.”

Even though cameras acquire images in RAW format, based on a Colour Filter Array that arranges RGB colour filters on a square grid of photosensors, most popular compression techniques do not use the raw data itself. Instead, they process the RGB result of an interpolation algorithm (complete debayering) of the raw data, a process that limits an image’s quality immediately and cuts down bandwidth efficiency for device and dataflow.

Other than commonly used codecs, TICO-RAW processes and codes the direct output of the image sensor, without applying a full debayering, thereby preserving the advantages of the captured RAW data, namely the chance to apply demosaicing algorithms, and the control over white balance, exposure, and colour grading, whilst file sizes remain at a very manageable level.

TICO-RAW aims to be a solution for:

  • Supporting image sensor dataflows with higher resolutions, higher frame rates and high dynamic range at a reasonable bandwidth with a microsecond latency.
  • Lowering power consumption thanks to a reduced bandwidth in the image processing pipeline and low-power and low-memory TICO-RAW processing.
  • Retaining RAW properties while reducing image data on the storage media to the size of a JPEG image.

Just like all other products of the TICO family, the new TICO-RAW IP-cores come with a pixel line latency, ultra-low memory usage, extremely low power consumption and can code anything from two to 100Mpixels (at 16bits) down to 1bpp.

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