GEO extends eWarp

GEO Semi - gw3100_block_diag

GEO Semi – GW3100 block diagram

GEO, the company whose ICs enable fish-eye cameras, is going into mass production in Q3 of two 40nm chips – eWarp W3 for auto cameras and head-up displays and projection and Raptor 2 which combines eWarp with a codec for cloud, IOT and helmet/wearable applications.

They deliver, says GEO, cost-effective geometric processing capable of handling fish-eye video streams. GEO has OEM customers lined up for the chips.

And thereby hangs a tale. “If customers could not use us they would, because they don’t like buying from small companies, but they do because there’s no alternative, says GEO’s Chairman and CEO Paul Russo. GEO has 75 employees.

GEO reckons its technology is unique, spawned over 15 years from video and geometric processing R&D done at Silicon Optix which was acquired by GEO in 2009, and codecs and cloud software acquired with Maxim’s ISP-based video unit which GEO bought in 2012.

“eWarp is the key differentiator,” says Russo, “it’s highly patented and it’s unique to GEO.” It can perform, says Russo: “neatly an unlimited number of transforms.”

It can also combine multiple transforms into one. For example: combine lens defect transform + fish-eye de-warp transform + digital calibration transform + ePTZ transform into one combined transform.

Driving the need for GEO’s ICs are two trends: the proliferation and improving performance of sensors providing better, lower cost pixels; and semiconductor processing advances allowing optical transformations to be performed digitally making sophisticated image processing technologies affordable.

GEO’s first automotive customers will go into production later this year. An auto market catalyst favouring GEO is that, by 2018, every US car will, by law, have to have a rear-view camera and a GEO chip delivering a camera with a 180 degree field of view will be much in demand.

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