TI's Digital Media Processing Enables Camera Users to Do More, See More

2/11/2004 - Consumers have said they want crisper, clearer pictures plus enhanced functionality in their point-and-shoot digital cameras. Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) has answered the call with its latest digital media processor technology. Aiming to reach store shelves for this year´s holiday retail season, camera manufacturers can quickly incorporate this new programmable processor into their cameras, giving consumers a host of new features and functionality to capture the perfect image.

"Camera manufacturers are striving to bring the performance of a traditional 35-mm SLR (single-lens reflex) camera into the hands of the amateur photographer at an affordable price, said Dave Pahl, business manager for TI's Digital Camera Solutions group. "TI enables this $999 SLR level of performance in point and shoot digital cameras at a $299 price point."

A Leader in Programmable Digital Camera Solutions
With greater than 20 percent marketshare for programmable processors in digital cameras, TI´s DSP-based processor has become the technology platform of choice because it gives manufacturers several crucial advantages. The inherent programmability of these processors allows manufacturers to "customize" the chip through their own image pipeline technology. By more than doubling computational power and performance, TI´s new processor allows manufacturers to implement user-requested functions and add special features that distinguish their products in an increasingly crowded market. Because of the advantages of programmability, TI has been instrumental in helping the market achieve its already phenomenal growth. In fact, 7 out of the top 10 point-and-shoot camera OEMs currently use our technology. The technology is readily available and can be quickly deployed, allowing new cameras to reach store shelves in less than 12 months. This is particularly important given the development time for a hard-wired ASIC can be as long as 12-18 months.

Approaching the Performance Levels of Single-Lens Reflex Cameras

Enhanced Features Allow Amateurs to Expertly Take Photos

TI's technology solutions do not stop with just the digital media processor. Our complimentary power management capabilities prolong battery life, system run time, and simplify the design of a camera's power system. New integrated, power management system on chip technology supports all power rail requirements in a digital camera, and significantly simplifies design of a camera's power system. The new family of integrated power conversion and battery management ICs enhances the power to the media processing core, backlight, display and memory sub-system, and allows a camera to take that perfect shot without compromising battery life. Both capabilities mean the camera is always ready to take the perfect shot.

In addition, TI's highly integrated analog front end solutions reduce overall system cost by incorporating multiple chips and functions into a single package, while its audio/video amplifiers are the smallest and most highly optimized for digital still cameras. Overall, TI provides state-of-the-art total system solutions optimized for capturing life's most special moments.

Coming Attractions
Thanks to the ever-improving nature of programmable media processors, in ´05 digital cameras will achieve the shot-to-shot performance of today´s SLRs. Users will be able to personalize images via an animated user interface including dialog balloons or perhaps a custom border. On-camera editing will make it virtually impossible to take a bad picture. And camera users will be one step closer to capturing the perfect image every time.

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