Regardless of what the GoPro and Ambarella marriage can provide in tandem hardware it is clear the company wants to branch out of the fledgling sales of GoPro which have tanked in recent quarters and the stock price from a high near a $100 USD is now trading at a mere $12 which is half the IPO price. By branching out it seems they want their chips in many more imaging devices and be less affected by the GoPro product cycle.
The announced H2 and H12 chips are able to provide beefy 4k specs at high frame rates for mobile devices at a mere 2 Watts of power. As to 1080p frame rates it will remain to be seen how this powerful new chip can handle that in a camera design and how it is implemented to squeeze that performance. 120fps at 4k from the H2 in theory should be able to yield 480fps at 1080p just counting the Pixel processing. This however can be limited by the rest of the components like imaging sensor.
H2 Main Specs:
- 4K Ultra HD
- 4k H.265/HEVC video at 60 frames per second 10bit
- 4K AVC video at 120 frames per second.
- 10-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) video processing to handle high contrast scenes and supports DSLR quality photography.
- 3D electronic image stabilization potentially eliminating gimbals
- 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 CPU with floating point and NEON™
H12 Main Specs:
- 4K Ultra HD HEVC video at 30 frames per second.
- 3D electronic image stabilization potentially eliminating gimbal
- 1GHz single-core ARM® Cortex®-A9 CPU with floating point and NEON™
With the advent of 120fps 4k video in mobile devices it will be interesting to see probably the first reasonably priced 4k slowmo capable camera on the market. We expect the GoPro Hero 5 Black to be a 4k 60p device and not 120fps, however we might be pleasantly surprised to see a lower quality mode for 120fps at 4k. As for 1080p the new GoPro cameras should be able to deliver 240fps or more at full HD without breaking a sweat. Only the memory buffer will be the limiting factor here.
We expect to see many products using the new Ambarella SOCs in 2016 with the action cameras being the prime market as they have been in the past. We’ll have more info as the chips are adopted and tested in commercial hardware.
Mashable tests the Ambarella H2 Prototype slowmo 4k 120fps:
Press Release from Ambarella H2 and H12 Below:
Ambarella Introduces Low Power 4K Ultra HD SoCs for Sports and Flying Cameras
Ambarella H2 delivers 4K Ultra HD at 60 frames per second with under 2 Watts of power consumption
SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(UNDER EMBARGO – until Jan. 6, 2016 at 8:00 AM Eastern)–Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA), a leading developer of low-power, HD and Ultra HD video processing semiconductors, today introduced the H2 and H12 camera System-on-Chips (SoCs) for a new generation of sports and flying cameras. H2 targets high-end camera models with 4K Ultra HD H.265/HEVC video at 60 frames per second and 4K AVC video at 120 frames per second. These high frame rates deliver smooth video during fast action shots and slow motion playback. H2 also includes 10-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) video processing to handle high contrast scenes and supports DSLR quality photography. H12 targets mainstream cameras and offers 4K Ultra HD HEVC video at 30 frames per second. Both SoCs have extremely low power consumption allowing for the design of small form factor cameras, and feature advanced 3D electronic image stabilization, potentially eliminating the need for mechanical gimbals.
“With the introduction of H2 and H12 we now provide a complete portfolio of 4K Ultra HD HEVC solutions for sports and flying cameras,” said Fermi Wang, President and CEO of Ambarella. “H2, our first 14nm chip, delivers 4Kp60 Ultra HD HEVC video with 10-bit HDR processing, as supported by the latest generation of 4K HDR televisions. H12 delivers 4Kp30 Ultra HD HEVC video for outstanding video quality at mainstream camera price points.”
H2 features a new generation image processing pipeline which includes 10-bit HDR video processing and excellent imaging, even in challenging low-light conditions. The integration of a 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 CPU with floating point and NEONTM provides significant processing power for customer applications including flying camera flight control, video analytics and wireless networking. Its hardware de-warp engine supports wide-angle panoramic camera designs, while USB 3.0 connectivity provides fast upload of high resolution video. H2 supports live streaming of a second, low-delay, Full HD video stream for wireless monitoring and camera control.
H12 supports both 4Kp30 Ultra HD HEVC and AVC video encoding. It integrates a 1GHz single-core ARM® Cortex®-A9 CPU with floating point and NEONTM to provide the processing power required for customer applications including flying camera flight control and wireless networking. Its de-warp capability allows the use of wide-angle lenses with minimal image distortion. H12 also supports the live video streaming of a second, low-delay Full HD video stream.
Ambarella will demonstrate both H2 and H12 at a private event during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 6 – 9, 2016.
Pricing and Availability
For pricing and availability please contact Ambarella at www.ambarella.com/about/contact/inquiries