Ambarella's A7 SoC Examined

By: John Honovich, Published on Apr 05, 2011

In this note, we examine Ambarella's new SoC, the A7 series [link no longer available], for use with IP cameras. We contrast the A7 to Ambarella's previous generation A5s [link no longer available] and Texas Instrument's most recent announcement for their DM81xx.

Here are the key new features of A7 compared to A5s:

  • 1080p/60 vs 1080p/30. The higher maximum frame rate allows for both 60fps full HD streaming or multiple simultaneous 1080p/30 streams.
  • Support for up to 32MP resolution including recently announced 14MP Aptina sensors [link no longer available]
  • Faster processing supports more virtual camera outputs/streams
  • Impoved WDR support - Ambarella claims that their SoC can make non WDR sensors look as good in WDR scenes as WDR optimized sensors
  • Power consumption increased over A5s - A7 power consumption max projected at 1.5 watts; Ambarella claims that is half of TI's max power consumption and that the lower power consumption is important in minimizing heat generation especially in smaller form factor devices such as minidomes

Ambarella's A7 Product Brief [link no longer available] provides more technical details.

Ambarella reports that A7 is currently in production.

As we are not experts in chips, we cannot offer more nuanced or specific recommendations or analysis on the product.

However, between TI's and Ambarell's recent annoncements, the trend for greater maximum frame rate (to 60fps) and higher resolution (to 10MP) is clear.

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