4K camera-on-chip for mirrors replacement applications

March 09, 2017 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Video processing chip specialist Ambarella, Inc has introduced an Ultra HD single-chip solution for multi-camera electronic mirror applications. The Ambarella A9AQ is already designed into a three-camera vision system from automotive supplier Gentex.

The Ambarella A9AQ offers a resolution in the 4K category and is automotive-qualified in compliance with the AEC-Q100 standard. The device features an 800MHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU to provide powerful processing performance for customer applications including advanced driver assistance features, user interface, and wireless networking. Ambarella also introduced its B6 family of 4K Ultra HD capable serializer/deserializer (SERDES) companion chips to enable high performance video camera applications based on the A9AQ SoC.


The A9AQ provides a single-chip solution for three camera side-view and rear-view electronic mirror systems. Its multi-exposure HDR processing provides superior visibility even in low light or high contrast scenes. LED flicker mitigation dramatically reduces artifacts introduced by LED headlights and traffic signs. The A9AQ can simultaneously drive video to up to three in-car displays for rear, left side and right side electronic mirror applications.


Automotive supplier Gentex is currently launching a new hybrid, three-camera rear vision system that streams rear video to a rear-view mirror integrated display in multiple composite views. The company partnered with Ambarella on this project because the unique A9AQ processing features, said Gnetex vice president of engineering Neil Boehm. For multi-camera parking assistance applications, the A9AQ’s on-chip H.264 encoder enables simultaneous recording of multiple camera streams as well as video streaming to smartphones over WiFi or through in-car 4G hotspots. It provides realistic 3D HD scene rendering using a dedicated image processing engine which provides de-warping and seamless stitching of video from multiple cameras.

The A9AQ’s multi-channel image processing removes the need for a dedicated ISP chip in every camera module, enabling highly compact camera modules while improving video quality, reducing power consumption, and lowering system cost. It integrates a four-channel de-serializer, removing the need for external de-serializer chips in multi-channel camera systems. The Ambarella B6 family of SERDES chips provides up to 3Gpixel raw data throughput, allowing Ultra HD at 30 frames per second or Full HD at 60