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Open source video processing

Hot news from our open source imaging labs. In our quest for HD capable embedded computers we came across a very interesting board called Leopard Board. The Leopard Board is an open source embedded computer from Leopard Imaging that you can buy for $99. The standard package also includes a VGA camera but you can also buy higher resolution cameras up to 5 megapixels. The Leopard Board features a TMS320DM355 digital media SoC from Texas Instruments, which is based on their DaVinci media technology. In addition to an ARM9 core, the TMS320DM355 includes:
  • MPEG4 SP Codec at HD (720p), D1, VGA, SIF
  • JPEG Codec up to 50M Pixels per Second
  • Video Processing Subsystem, both front end (video in) and back end (video out)
  • All sorts of digital input/output that you can use for connecting it to other on-board devices (memory, UART, I2C, PWM, ...)
  • Audio in/out – okay, you won't need this on the moon but it's fun to play with (singing rover?)
  • Configurable Power-Saving Modes
  • Runs linux
... and a lot more! See the full specs here. The software will be a bit challenging unless we buy the expensive development tools. Fortunately, there is a large open source developer community gathered around DaVinci-based chips and even Texas Instruments seems to be very engaged in supporting this community. For example, they are working on a special version of the open source gstreamer framework that will allow access to the media accelerators in the DaVinci-based processors.
I will be fun to explore the application possibilities of the Leopard Board both within and outside the Google Lunar X PRIZE. We'll post updates as we make progress. We also have some other interesting boards on their way based on the even more powerful OMAP3x processors. More on that later!
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