CSR outs new Coach16 processor for highend cameras to kill video jaggies, noise

If you've ever cussed out your DSLR because your still shots or video had excessive aliasing, jello and noise, you might be happy to hear about the new Coach16 imaging chip from CSR. The new addition to the ex-Zoran line of imaging processors is aimed at DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, and for the cinema set brings 1080/60p HD video with 'super-resolution' RGB downscaling to eliminate aliasing caused by line-skipping. Still shooters would get "endless sustained burst" high frame-rate capability, multi-frame noise reduction for improved low-light shooting, USB 3.0 support, high resolution EVF capability and smart flash. The latter feature cleverly takes two pictures rapidly with and without a flash, then marries the best parts HDR style for the final image. We won't see any of that until it gets released in a new DSLR model, of course, but meanwhile, you can dream with the PR below the break.

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CSR Announces COACH16™ - Advanced New Processor for High-End Compact, Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras

CSR extends system-on-a-chip imaging technology leadership beyond Digital Still Cameras

CAMBRIDGE, England & SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CSR plc (LSE: CSR)(NASDAQ: CSRE) today introduced COACH16™, a new flagship Digital Camera Processor that provides support for the most advanced features in today's high-performance still and motion-image portable devices, including Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras, Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras (MILC) and high-end Digital Still Cameras (DSC). The performance of COACH16 also makes it perfect for camcorders and other mobile video applications, including those in sport cameras, security cameras and mobile drive recorders.

"The combination of performance and features in the COACH16 will allow device and application developers to greatly broaden their offerings, and will unleash a new wave of creativity from users of these new devices."

Already a global leader in system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for digital cameras, the introduction of COACH16 signals CSR's leadership in the newest and most powerful categories of cameras and imaging devices. In addition, COACH16 is pre-configured to address the growing need for geo-location and wireless connectivity in mobile imaging devices. For example, coupled with SiRFstarV™, CSR's high-performance GNSS location engine, COACH16 supports photo geo-tagging and data logging, telling the user exactly where an image or video-clip was captured. And coupled with the UniFi® CSR6030™, CSR's single-chip IEEE 802.11b/g/n solution, support for Wi-Fi® and Wi-Fi Direct™ comes pre-integrated, offering COACH16 based cameras hassle-free Wi-Fi connectivity to printers, TVs, PCs, tablets, smartphones and the Internet for easy upload and sharing of images, automatic photo back-ups, streaming of live video, and remote control.

Image quality is the highest priority for all photographers and this priority takes on even greater importance among users of DSLR and MILC equipment. In Digital Camera Processors, reducing "noise" within the image is one of the biggest challenges to delivering high image quality, particularly with images taken under low-light, when noise is greatest. CSR's image processing engine is widely regarded as the best in the industry, with the highest level of noise-reduction available, together with excellent colour reproduction, sensor and lens artifacts correction, and image enhancement engines. The COACH16 processor pushes the boundaries of what photographers can achieve with the newest, most powerful camera systems.

New COACH16 features unleash photo creativity

The COACH16 not only takes advantage of the power of the latest version of CSR's image processing engine, it gives photographers at every level greater performance and access to a number of new and improved capabilities.

"The demand for new and powerful features for mobile imaging applications and devices continues to expand and accelerate, and the COACH16 digital camera processor is the latest evidence of CSR's commitment to continued leadership in this area," said Anthony Murray, Business Group SVP, CSR. "The combination of performance and features in the COACH16 will allow device and application developers to greatly broaden their offerings, and will unleash a new wave of creativity from users of these new devices."

Full HD support: 1080p60 (also referred to as "Full HD") video delivers double the performance of 1080i60 (interlaced) video, and at 60 frames per second. COACH16 also supports all common video formats including mp4, AVCHD™, AVCHD 2.0, iFrame, and others. It has a new generation of temporal filter engine for superior low light performance and also supports a second video stream during Full HD recording.

Hi-Resolution Electronic Viewfinder support: In early models, MILC camera electronic viewfinders typically offered images with low-resolution and high-latency, both of which offer significant challenges for serious photographers. The COACH16 not only contains dedicated hardware to serve the electronic viewfinder, it does so with high-resolution and very low latency – even at the highest video frame rates.

Endless Sustained Burst: Thanks to its high throughput, the COACH16 processor offers extremely fast click-to-click performance – enabling true endless sustained burst photography with minimal lag while the user is forced to wait for the processor to "catch up". Even with very high-resolution camera, the COACH16 is designed to maintain an endless "burst" at a high frame rate.

Super-Resolution Video Technology: The COACH16 utilises new super-resolution video technology to create much sharper, realistic video images by processing the full size images from the sensor and downscaling them to video resolution using a highly sophisticated RGB scaler. With COACH16, video taken with digital cameras can now have the same high-quality look and feel as video from the best camcorders.

Multi-Frame Noise Reduction: Digital images taken under low light level conditions commonly contain high levels of random digital "noise" within the data stream. CSR's digital camera processing technology has long been recognised for the ability to reduce that noise. The COACH16 takes that noise reduction to the next level with the new Multi-Frame Noise Reduction (MFNR) technology. When a low-light picture is taken, MFNR technology actually captures several images in a fraction of a second, and then uses a special hardware-accelerated algorithm to mix the best parts of each into one image with the lowest possible amount of noise. And since COACH16 accomplishes this in hardware, the process is far faster than anything possible with software solutions that attempt to imitate this feature. The result is more accurate, nearly instantaneous, and yields better low-light pictures.

Smart Flash: When flash is used, photographers are often frustrated with the results, which can include a washed-out subject in the foreground and an underexposed background. Smart Flash takes TWO pictures in very rapid succession – one with flash, one without – and uses a hardware-based algorithm to combine them. Since Smart Flash is hardware-accelerated, the processing and combining of the images, including precise picture alignment and motion compensation, occur with minimal lag.

Native USB 3.0 support: As camera image size increases, and as more users take HD video with their "still" cameras, storage demands increase well into the multi-gigabyte range. The need to move these images from the camera to other storage or display devices exposes the limitation of the transfer speeds of USB 2.0. COACH16 includes native support for USB 3.0 which offers transfer rates ten times higher than USB 2.0.

About CSR

CSR is a global provider of innovative silicon and software solutions for the location-aware, media-rich, cloud-connected world. Our platforms are optimised for the automotive navigation and infotainment, digital cameras and imaging, connected home infotainment and wireless audio markets. We provide solutions to complex problems in the audio-visual, connectivity and location technology domains across a broad range of markets, with a technology portfolio that includes GPS/GNSS systems, Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi®, FM, NFC, aptX® and CVC™ audio codecs, JPEG, MPEG, H.264 imaging, PDL printing, microcontrollers, DSPs and broadband receivers. CSR's technology solutions and market platforms enable its customers to deliver a superior user experience and are adopted by leaders in the auto, computer, home and mobile markets. More information can be found at www.csr.com. Keep up to date with CSR on our technical blog or CSR people blog, YouTube, Facebook or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/CSR_plc.

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CSR outs new Coach16 processor for high-end cameras, aims to kill video jaggies, noise