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DaVinci

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The term DaVinci is a trade mark of Texas Instruments and stands for their line of DSP processors that are prepared for and capable of multimedia processing. Especially digital audio and video is covered with this category of processors. If only taking the upper case letters DV than this just resembles the term digital video as it is used for the digital video tape based camcorders in the past, even if this might be a pure coincidence.

Sometimes the term is extended to be described as TI's DaVinci Technology.

With the term a variety of processors are covered. This mainly is the TMS320DM6... series where the DM might stand for digital media. Indeed these SoCs do all have at least one high performance unit that is capable of at least SD video encoding or decoding in real time. As these are not all processor systems from TI that have grown to video capabilities and use quite the same toolings and technologies, a few more devices will be in the focus of this wiki. These are a few older TMS320DM6... devices, namely the DM642 that was introduced somewhat before the DaVinci term was communicated but already had video interfaces built in, and the OMAP family, that previously targeted at low power and communications but also with some models at high performance with an ARM-DSP dual core design, and nowadays with the upcoming OMAP3x series at really high grades of multimedia.

The first or "original" DaVinci in the public was the DM6446 that came along with a quite rich DVSDK package. This device is supposed to be the initial one that merged the video capabilities with the dual core design so that it bundled all current technology highlights in a only single silicon or SoC. Along with that a powerful set of software was provided including the so called Codec Engine as the core library for eased functional operation, and a specifically tailored version Monta Vista Linux as the operating system for the ARM core. The DSP core, in all current cases a C64x+ aka the GEM design, was running DSP/BIOS whilst an evaluation version of a Linux API compatibility layer was put aside.

As of today several alternate operating systems for the ARM half of DaVinci are available, namely Windows CE, QNX, Neutrino-RTOS, INTEGRITY and VelOSity. see also: [1]

The applications possible with this set of devices are rather broads and cover industry, scientific, medical and consumer needs. Sample applications and application areas are: DVD players, harddisk recorders, thermo cameras, camcorders, surveillance systems rack units, Web-Cams, portable media players, wireless devices, automotive vision, portable measurement & logging units, video encoding clusters, stand alone video walls - and many many more.

TI often refers to the engineer, scientist and painter Leonardo da Vinci that lived around the year 1500. So done with the video animation that is preloaded on the DM6446 DVSDK. In the 2006 TI Developer Conference in Germany they selected a hotel with a main demonstration room called Leonardo. Further such references do pop up time by time.

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