2/24/2003 - Smart Network Devices (SND), unveiled the world's smallest autonomous network camera at Embedded World 2003 in Nürnberg. Measuring only 3 x 6 x 2 cm - 1.2 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches (LxWxH) and with an estimated material cost of under EURO 70.00 (US$75.00) it sets new standards in network-supported security and video-surveillance technology. Connecting either to Ethernet or directly to the Internet, it carries out image compression at a speed capable of supporting M-JPEG in colour at between 5-10 frames/sec offering CIF resolution (352x288 pixels).
The camera is a reference design, based on the SND Micro WebTargetTM Board. It uses the newest CMOS image-sensor technology and a Hyperstone 32-bit RISC/DSP CPU for image compression. Data from the sensor passes through a buffer unit to the CPU, where it is compressed into JPEG-format and then made available to the network through a 100 Mbit/s Ethernet-interface.
The small size and the low costs come from the minimising the system's hardware components. The CMOS image sensor produces digital data, eliminating costly and expensive conversion of an analogue video signal. The image sensor automatically handles the primary image processing (colour filter, automatic white balance, adaptive sensitivity according to light conditions, Gamma-correction, etc.) so that downstream image processors are unnecessary.
Image compression into JPEG-format is through software. The image acquisition and compression is under the control of SND's HyNetOSTM Embedded Network Operating System. This provides all necessary drivers (CMOS-sensor, Ethernet) and communication protocols (TCP/IP, HTTP, FTP) as well as a file system for plug-in to random networks or directly to the Internet.
A wireless variant of the network camera module, based on SND's Micro BlueTargetTM Bluetooth board, is targeted for the 2nd quarter of 2003. The corresponding Bluetooth-protocol-stack for HyNetOSTM is available now.
The network camera reference design is available now as an Evaluation Kit, complete with full hardware schematics for volume manufacturing. The HyNetOSTM is available under license.
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