Computer vision … a practical approach

Paul Boughton

Altera has joined the Embedded Vision Alliance (EVA) to help use the OpenCL parallel programming language in practical applications of computer vision. 

Altera FPGAs provide flexibility and performance benefits across the embedded vision processing pipeline, including image sensor interface, image signal processing, compression, transmission, and video content analytics. 

An FPGA’s parallel architecture aids in the acceleration of vision processing algorithms, while the Altera SDK for OpenCL design tool offers easy implementations of parallel processing applications onto FPGAs.

It sees its FPGAs being used in embedded vision applications in the industrial, surveillance, automotive, military, broadcasting and consumer sectors.

In addition, the Altera hard floating point DSP blocks facilitate native floating point support, thereby reducing development time by 6 to 12 months, and offer superior GFLOPS/W capability compared to other hard floating point solutions on the market.

Altera is joining the alliance to propose solutions to address head-on the performance bottlenecks of CPUs, and to continue to offer new IP through the end-to-end vision processing pipeline,” said Dan McNamara, Vice President of the Industrial, Automotive, and Broadcast Business Unit at Altera. “With our industry lead in OpenCL development tools, as well as a strong, evolving ecosystem of vision processing technologies, we are joining the alliance to facilitate further innovations in the embedded vision industry.”

Altera FPGAs support various sensor interfaces, compression standards, transmission protocols, and custom video analytics, and enable systems designers to achieve higher performance in their products with hardware acceleration. Altera allows integration of multiple devices (CPU, DSP, ASSP) into one FPGA, keeping board space, power consumption and design complexity down.

“Embedded vision allows machines to see and understand the world around them, enabling them to be more responsive, safer and more capable,” said Jeff Bier, founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance. “Altera is an innovator in technologies that enable engineers to incorporate visual intelligence into their product designs. I welcome Altera to the Embedded Vision Alliance, and look forward to collaborating to advance the Alliance’s goal of empowering product creators to use embedded vision technology.”