Horrific though it was, footage from both public and private security cameras in Boston proved to be an invaluable tool for authorities during the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, contributing significantly to the effort to identify suspects in the case. As a result, market research firms are predicting that the attack will likely drive increased government spending on video surveillance.
As the demand for high resolution and intelligent video analytics within Digital Security and Surveillance (DSS) systems grow, the attention of providers focuses on improving video and graphics performance, which operators want to achieve without an equivalent increase in power consumption.
As a result, new DSS systems will be more complex than their predecessors because their tasks are more complex, including multi-channel streaming, real-time software-based analytics, event-triggered alerting, and much more. Cameras equipped with built-in video analytics, for example, can assist the system in identifying abnormal events, offloading workload from the backend system to ensure more timely alarm notification and faster video retrieval. Modern IP cameras for DSS application need to support high resolution and high frame rates with visual enhancement technologies including image stabilization and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) in order to deliver clear and smooth images to assist the process of video analysis. To reduce camera shake, these cameras also require intelligent analysis that uses image stabilizing algorithms to detect and reduce horizontal and vertical movements.
Taken together, the workloads handled by the CPU and GPU of these DSS systems are massive. They must manage video encoding, video decoding, video scaling and display, storing video onto a hard disk, and video packetization for streaming, as well as running video management software for monitoring and data storage across multiple locations.
In a recent White Paper Steve Yang, General Manager of Nexcom’s Intelligent Digital Security Business Unit, pointed out that image clarity is the primary criterion for video capture so as to provide security personnel a clear, real-time view of the monitored area and detailed information about a vehicle, allowing them to gain a better control of the situation.
The 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor family (code name Haswell) helps enable a new standard in security and surveillance tools, from digital video recorders to video analytics servers, by delivering the superior media and graphics, improved security and manageability, and breakthrough performance necessary to support DSS applications.
With its new microarchitecture and enhanced media capabilities in video en-, trans- and de-coding, the 4th generation Intel Core processor improves overall system performance and reduces power consumption when compared to previous generation processors. An overall performance increase of 15% can be expected (using standard benchmarks); allowing for increased top-end performance or reduced power consumption of the system.
DSS target applications for Haswell include Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), Network Video Recorders (NVRs), video transcoders, Video Management Systems (VMSs), and video analytics server workloads (such as video packet processing and video streaming, video content analysis, storage redundant array of independent disks (RAID) acceleration, and multiple video channel playback and display) all on a single computing device.
The 4th generation Intel Core processor family offers a 30 percent improvement in video playback and display capability than the 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor to deliver smoother full HD 1080p images. Other advances include Intel® Quick Synch Technology and Intel® Media SDK 2013 to enable simultaneous real-time video encoding and decoding of multiple full HD 1080p video at 30 frames per second.
Also of benefit in DSS applications are new Haswell features such as the Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2 ) instructions, providing a huge performance improvement in signal processing capabilities to accelerate video analytics algorithms. Intel AVX2 is an expansion of the AVX instruction set introduced with Sandy Bridge.
Haswell’s integrated graphics processor, HD Graphics 4600, enables multiple full HD 1080p video playback and display in real time, enhancing the surveillance manager’s experience. Other upgrades to Haswell's graphical abilities enable it to drive triple-display desktops, with support for DirectX 11.1, and full 4K resolutions over DisplayPort 1.2.
Figure 1: High resolution video will facilitate DSS analytics
Haswell micro-architecture adds decode support for Scalable Video Coding (SVC) on top of the VC1 and MPEG2 support provided in 3rd generation Intel Core processors. SVC is the commonly used name for the Annex G extension of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video compression standard. The SVC codec translates bits from a network data stream into a picture and conversely translates camera video into a bit stream. The 4th generation Intel Core processors also come with end to end decode and encode 4K x 2K support for up to 3840 x 2160 resolution @ 60 Hz on DisplayPort 1.2, and up to 4096 x 2304 @24 Hz on HDMI.
Featuring the higher computing and graphics capabilities of the 4th generation Intel Core processor family to speed up image acquisition and analysis Nexcom’s new COM Express Type 6 Basic module ICES 670 features a full design package aimed to stimulate innovation of intelligent systems by facilitating system integration via an integrated embedded controller (EC) and an Embedded Application Programming Interface (EAPI). To simplify system management, the ICES 670 supports Xcare 3.0, a utility that can keep track of hardware status. The API of Xcare 3.0 is compliant with the PICMG EAPI standard and can provide users with information on processor, RAM, BIOS, fan speed, operating temperature and more.
The ICES 670 supports the latest interfaces including SATA 3.0, PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, and DisplayPort to provide high bandwidth and throughput. In addition, a verification code embedded in the controller helps block unauthorized applications and devices to strengthen security of the intelligent system. Data cryptography is also supported by means of Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) technology.
“The 4th generation Intel Core processor-based platform allows ADLINK Technology to deliver up to double the graphics performance over the previous generation,” said Dirk Finstel, EVP of ADLINK’s Global Module Computer Product Segment, in introducing ADLINK’s new lineup, including Express-HL and Express-HL2 (COM Express®), NuPRO-E42 (PICMG 1.3), cPCI-3510 (CompactPCI®), and Matrix MXE-5400. “In addition, these new integrated graphics capabilities enable more compact imaging solutions, leading to new form factors and devices with an as-yet-unseen level of visual capabilities.” These improvements, combined with the advanced high-resolution display capabilities for either 4K (4xHD = 3840x2160) or three 32x20 displays, have helped ADLINK to provide its advanced solutions for imaging and interface applications across key industries, he said.
ADLINK's Express-HL and Express-HL2 COM Express modules with 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5 processors and mobile Intel® QM87 Express chipset offer up to 16GB dual channel DDR3L SDRAM at 1600MHz. The Express-HL is a COM Express Type 6 module offering three independent displays via DDI interface, as well as seven PCIe x1, one PCIe x16 (Gen3) for graphics (or general purpose x8/4/1), four SATA III (6 Gb/s), Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0, and four USB 3.0 interfaces. The Express-HL2 features the COM Express Type 2 pinout and offers 18/24-bit single/dual channel LVDS, Analog CRT, and a legacy 32 bit PCI bus, as well as a PATA IDE interface.
Solutions in this blog:
• Digital Surveillance and Security Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
• Sensing and Analytics - Top Picks (blogs, white papers, and more)
Nexcom is an Associate member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance.
ADLINK is an Associate member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance