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Camera Users Can Do More, See More - Compliments of TI's Latest Digital Media Processing Technology

New Processor Reduces Shot-to-Shot Delay by 2X, Cuts the Boot-up Time in Half and Increases Video Storage by 3X with MPEG4

Feb 10, 2004

DALLAS (Feb. 10, 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. (See www.ti.com/dsc )
"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

No more waiting - Now users won´t worry about missing that special shot because their camera isn´t ready. Next generation digital cameras will pack enough processing power that they can respond in times competitive with SLRs. TI´s digital media processor reduces shot-to-shot delay by 2X, cuts boot-up time by half and improves MPEG-4 video storage by 3X on any type of memory card. 

Sophisticated color processing

- Another improvement in photo quality is real-time automatic focus, white balance, and exposure. Compliments of TI´s programmable processors, new cameras will additionally detect and reproduce subtle gradations, tonings and shadings to reproduce what the eye actually sees.

TV-quality video

- High quality video is becoming a requirement. Users can now capture MPEG-4 video, and record video clips that can fill up the entire length of the memory card. In addition, consumers can now display crisp, full format video and still images on a PC or TV compliments of a glueless interface.

Enhanced Features Allow Amateurs to Expertly Take Photos

New scene modes - Digital cameras now offer numerous modes, such as landscape or action shot. Extra processing power on the digital media processor enables complex modes-such as nighttime action or portraits in low light conditions.

Flexible lighting

- Sub-optimal lighting, such as half sunlight and half shade, is a tough challenge for today´s cameras. TI´s new processors make it possible to sense an entire composition and automatically select the best settings.

Enhanced connectivity

- This latest processor supports full speed USB 2.0, which allows users to quickly move large images to a PC or photo printer. It also offers built-in interconnects to easily add in a Wi-Fi® card. With WLAN, users can wirelessly connect cameras to home devices, as well as enable a new service concept called digital photo "hot spots," allowing consumers to walk up to a kiosk and print or transmit a photo.

On-camera image editing

- With the new TI processor, cameras will offer internal editing and auto-image correction features to eliminate such common problems as red-eye. 

TI's technology solutions do not stop with just the digital media processor. Our complementary 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.