DALLAS -- Texas Instruments Inc. today unveiled an integrated video signal processor with link layer function supporting the 1394 serial bus. The device is the main component in a new three-chip set solution for PC cameras providing real-time video over 1394 links.
TI's second-generation 1394 chip set supports uncompressed video images at a refresh rate of 30 frames per second using PC cameras based on charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors. The TSB15LV01 video signal processor/link layer device is used with TI's new integrated analog frontend and analog-to-digital (ADC) converter IC and a 1394 physical layer (PHY) chip. The number of ICs in TI's 1394 solution has been reduced from five to three chips.
The Dallas company is also developing a third-generation single-chip solution for 1394 PC cameras that will support third-party CMOS image sensors, as opposed to CCD-based systems. The single-chip solution is scheduled to become available in sample quantities during the second half of 2001, said Ajit Prasad, product marketing manager at TI.
"This new second-generation chip set will be the last from TI to support CCDs," he added. TI does not plan to make CMOS image sensors, but will support products from other suppliers with integrated 1394 processors, Prasad said.
TI sees the market for 1394-enabled personal computers taking off. The company expects the market for these systems to surpass current forecasts. For example, Dataquest in San Jose is forecasting industry shipments of 30 million 1394-enabled PCs in 2000. Another forecast by the Cahners In-Stat Group shows PC cameras (using 1394 or the Universal Serial Bus) reaching five million units in 2000, with about 500,000 being linked to computers with the 1394 bus.
TI claims it has "enabled" 8 million PCs with 1394 links in 1999, and it expects its devices to be used in 20 million more computers in 2000. About 80% of the 1394 circuits are being used directly on desktop PC motherboards, according to TI.
The new TSB15LV01 integrated video processor/1394 link layer device, the TLV990 analog frontend/ADC, and TSB41LV01 PHY chip support 30-frames/sec. (TV speed) video with up to 640-by-480 (VGA) resolution, TI said. The company is also providing customers with diagnostic testing software for Microsoft Windows and Apple Computer drivers.
With the new three-chip set, a 1394 PC camera system can now be created with just five devices--a CCD sensor, CDD driver, and the three TI chips, said Prasad.
In quantities of 1,000, the video processor/1394 link layer device is priced at $5.61 each from TI chip distributors. It is housed in an 80-pin thin quad-flat pack (TQFP).