At this 12 months’s digital CES 2021, Ambarella is launching its new flagship imaginative and prescient SoC – the CV5. Dubbed as a 8K AI imaginative and prescient processor, the brand new SoC addresses Ambarella’s extra conventional core market which incorporates sports activities cameras, drones, and the rising vital automotive enterprise of the corporate. In case you’ve had a GoPro or a DJI drone previously decade, the adjustments are excessive these units had been powered by an Ambarella SoC – though many of those firms these days additionally depend on in-house silicon.
The brand new CV5 is a serious leap for the corporate because it represents essentially the most highly effective iteration of the corporate’s in-house ISP, that includes capabilities akin to 8K60 video recording or 4 unbiased 4K video streams, consists of new highly effective AI capabilities, new CPU cores, and guarantees very low energy consumption via it’s new 5nm manufacturing node.
In contrast to a cell phone SoC, a imaginative and prescient SoC such because the CV5 is optimised for one process, and to do this process very nicely: broad and deep digital camera operation. Through the years Ambarella has been using and enhancing its personal proprietary picture sign processor which takes as enter uncooked digital camera sensor knowledge and course of it into usable video streams throughout its big selection of costumer product deployments.
The brand new CV5 in that regard is extraordinarily succesful when it comes to uncooked digital camera enter capabilities: supporting an excessive quantity of bodily digital camera sensor interfaces, the brand new chip can concurrently allow as much as 14 sensors in a tool/machine. The explanation for the help of such numerous sensors isn’t directed at shopper units however extra on the automotive market which now routinely deploys an enormous variety of cameras in new automobile designs.
The brand new ISP and video encoders are able to supporting as much as 8K60 streams – with that whole processing and encoding energy having the ability to be reconfigured and unfold out throughout a large variety of video streams, resolutions and body charges.
The CV5 processor, very similar to its predecessor additionally help all kinds of I/O wanted to attach the SoC inside a whole system with peripherals. What’s new right here is the brand new help for newer era LPDDR5 reminiscence alongside the present LPDDR4X help.
Additionally, a really giant improve in processing energy is the transfer from a quad-core Cortex-A53 setup to a dual-core Cortex-A76 setup clocked in at 1.6GHz, which ought to give the brand new CV5 a really giant increase in single-threaded efficiency in addition to a normal processing energy improve over its predecessors.
Amongst the brand new ISP enhancements, we’re see new HDR capabilities that vastly improves dynamic vary of captures – one thing that’s additionally extraordinarily vital not just for shopper units, but in addition crucial for the automotive market. Ambarella says that it really works very intently with all of the sensor producers and makes certain that its ISP will have the ability to deal with new applied sciences in upcoming new sensors, supporting options akin to new staggered HDR sensors.
You’ll have seen that video encoding help is proscribed to H.264 and H.265/HEVC with a scarcity of AV1 options. Initially – for a imaginative and prescient SoC such because the CV5 video encoding is a crucial characteristic so we shouldn’t be drawing parallels to the decode-only AV1 characteristic that different cellular SoCs within the trade may help proper now. Secondly, Ambarella says that there’s hesitation amongst its prospects about AV1 because of the unclear state of affairs about licensing, with many selecting to prioritise H.265 attributable to it being technically equal in apply, and whereas the licensing isn’t ideally suited, it’s at the least well-known and predictable. It’s an attention-grabbing perspective that provides a contemporary perspective on the matter – and why different SoC producers may not play ball with AV1 proper now.
Past the uncooked spec sheet and capabilities of the SoC, what’s additionally vital to have the ability to help all these options inside a decrease energy envelope. Ambarella states the CV5 helps 8K30 recording in below 2W, whereas additionally providing 8K60 help at below 5W. Typically, these are implausible numbers – notably while you have a look at different trade 8K30 recording units akin to Canon’s energy hungry and overheating susceptible R5 digital camera. Alongside the SoC structure and proprietary IP blocks, the low energy consumption is enabled by the CV5’s course of which is manufactured on Samsung’s 5LPE node. In a product-to-product comparability, Ambarella is seeing a 30% energy discount in comparison with its earlier era 10nm SoCs, simply attributable to course of.
The CV5 is anticipated to be deployed in next-gen sports activities cameras, drones, automotive designs in addition to attention-grabbing new merchandise akin to dual-8K VR cameras, absolutely profiting from the digital camera talents of the brand new flagship chipset. Ambarella is planning to pattern CV5 to prospects in Q2 2021.$