BANGALORE, INDIA: Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL) announced that Fujitsu Microelectronics Ltd and Leica Camera AG have co-developed an image processing system solution for high-end digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras, to be featured in Leica’s next-generation cameras.
The number of image pixels handled by digital still cameras, such as digital SLR cameras and those on mobile phones, is continually rising, with higher definition becoming a key selling feature. As a result, there has been a rise in demand for low power consumption and faster image processing systems. Satisfying these conflicting conditions is a challenge for design engineers.
Since 2001, Fujitsu Microelectronics has offered its Milbeaut series of image processing devices for cameras, delivering high-definition imagery, fast processing speeds, and low power consumption. Widely used in digital SLR, compact digital still, and mobile phone cameras, the Milbeaut series is meeting market requests in advance. Milbeaut technology offers various functions on a single chip as required by these cameras, including image compression/decompression (image codec), noise reduction and memory card processing.
For nearly a century, Leica Camera has worked to position itself as a globally-renowned and reputable camera manufacturer, recognized for its outstanding expertise in camera imagery-related technologies, which are testament to its refined high-quality product offerings. The company is actively engaged in the development of digital camera technologies, demonstrated by the release in 2006 of its first digital still camera, the LEICA M8, featuring the popular Leica M series body.
Newly developed solution
Given the aforementioned market requirements, the new image processing system solution for high-end SLR cameras uses Leica’s MAESTRO image processor based on Fujitsu’s Milbeaut technology, coupled with its control software.
The latest technology in Milbeaut series features improved power management, thereby achieving extremely low power consumption. High-speed operation is achieved by the employment of two embedded CPUs: Fujitsu’s FR-80 and FR-V (VLIW architecture) and additional accelerators. The combined faster operation of both software and hardware enables superior image processing performance.
For this joint development, Leica and FML created a team of dedicated hardware and software engineers to leverage the companies’ expertise and know-how. By combining the strengths of Fujitsu’s image-processing Milbeaut technologies with Leica’s high-definition imaging technologies, the companies now offer an industry-leading image processing solution.
Stefan Trippe, COO of Leica Camera commented: “Leica’s philosophy is to deliver the very lastest technology to its customers, as a result, this joint development with Fujitsu Microelectronics, will enable Leica to continue to lead the field in terms of picture quality.”
“Fujitsu Microelectronics welcomes this opportunity for co-development with Leica. Leica’s expertise and reputation in the camera industry, combined with our Milbeaut imaging-processing LSI technology, will result in a truly outstanding high-end SLR digital camera,” said Joji Murakami, Corporate Vice President at Fujitsu Microelectronics.
The new solution platform resulting from this collaboration has been established for, and will hereon become a basis for the planning and development of new Leica products, as well as enabling easy implementation of FML’s next-generation devices. Furthermore, the newly created platform will enable the stable development of future image processing systems.