This month Texas Instruments announced that it will offer a new line of products for implementing digital video applications. TI's "DaVinci Digital Video Technology" encompasses new video-oriented chips, software, and tools, all of which are intended to be used together to help companies quickly develop new video products. Thus far, only the DaVinci brand has been introduced; TI expects to announce specific DaVinci products before the end of the year.
The forthcoming DaVinci chips will be based on TI's 'C64x architecture, and will include varying combinations of video-oriented hardware accelerators and peripherals. Some of the chips will also include an ARM core. DaVinci software will include a variety of video and audio codecs (such as H.264 and MP3), operating systems (Linux will be the first), and APIs that are intended to allow ARM software developers to leverage the DSP core without having to program it directly. The DaVinci lineup will also include new tools to support implementing digital video applications on DaVinci chips, such as an ARM/DSP integrated development environment, and reference designs.
Architecturally, some of TI's DaVinci chips will be similar to the company's OMAP chips, which pair a 'C55x DSP with an ARM core. But while OMAP has found significant success only in one market—cell-phone handsets—TI is hoping that DaVinci will be used in a wide variety of digital video applications, ranging from digital still cameras to medical imaging to video telephones. By offering APIs and off-the-shelf software that give ARM software developers easy access to the signal-processing horsepower of the 'C64x (currently the fastest mainstream DSP architecture), TI hopes to attract the interest of both established companies and start-up innovators.
For more on this announcement, see "TI launches DaVinci platform."