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Axis: Artpec history, the foundation of Axis product quality

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Axis Communications this year celebrates 20 years of Artpec. “It was late autumn 1999 when products with our very first Artpec chip were released. Now, twenty years later, we have reached the seventh version of the chip. It’s a product of years of experience, knowledge and passion for high-quality technology and a key part of our company’s history. Together with Stefan Lundberg, Senior Expert Engineer, Technologies at Axis, we looked back at our Artpec journey of the past twenty years and talked about our key insights and developments”, they tell from Axis Headquarters.

The secret behind Axis cameras
The ARTPEC chip is a vital component as it provides the basis for essential product capabilities, such as image quality, analytics features and coding performance. “It’s the secret behind our highly advanced network cameras. During the designing process of each ARTPEC generation, there was a recurring task that needed to be coped with because there is a trade between performance and features versus cost and power consumption. This is an important start of the chip design process, where each chip generation not only has an increased pixel throughput but also improved or additional critical features. With each new set of ARTPEC chips, the number of transistors almost doubled, but thanks to Moore’s law, the size, power consumption of and cost have almost stayed the same”, says Lundberg.

The Features revolutionary chip
“Our ARTPEC chips were a small revolution - for us and our industry. While we might not have invented the wheel, we did revolutionize the way video is transferred, adding a lot of flexibility and opportunities for novel applications. The invention of ARTPEC enabled us to develop completely new technologies, such as the Forensic Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), powerful edge analytics and Zipstream data compression technology”, underlines Lundberg.

The invention of Artpec enabled Axis to develop completely new technologies
“These technologies couldn’t have been brought to market without the chip but this didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of many achievements over time that are the cornerstones in our ARTPEC journey - small turning points that slowly changed the industry. For example, with ARTPEC-1 it was possible to create the first cost-efficient network camera product with full video performance. With ARTPEC-3 we manage to deliver high-quality video with larger resolution than the existing analog video cameras. With ARTPEC-5 we continued to improve our dual exposure WDR solution and the result was called Forensic Capture. A solution that was very different from competitors as it created an image that prioritized details and visibility over a nice looking video. This method has now become a standard in the industry and for the first time, it is possible to place cameras freely even in difficult light situations like storefronts with large glass areas receiving direct sunlight. But what really made the difference with ARTPEC-5 was the invention of the smart video encoder named Zipstream that reduced the cost of storage in the system2, they add from Axis.

by the Editorial Staff

19.11.2019


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