Image processor maker Ambarella has released the H3 System-on-Chip (SoC) for high-end drones and video cameras, including those capturing 360-degree and virtual reality footage. The H3 supports 8K Ultra HD H.264/AVC video at 30 frames per second or multiple video streams with equivalent performance, for example 360-degree cameras that use dual 4K/60fps sensors. 

With the introduction of H3 we believe we provide the highest video performance and best image quality solution for high-end drones and multi-sensor video cameras,” said Fermi Wang, president and CEO of Ambarella. “H3 delivers 8Kp30 video performance to match the next generation of displays, such as 8K televisions and high resolution head-mounted displays.

The chip comes with a multi-channel ISP for 360-degree video capture and multi-sensor drone applications. 10-bit HDR processing should help maintain smooth gradations and color information in wide gamut, high-contrast scenes. Meanwhile, Ambarella's electronic image stabilization keeps things steady, even in difficult conditions such as high winds or when panning quickly. The chipset is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and an integrated hardware de-warping engine supports wide-angle panoramic camera designs and fish-eye lenses. Ambarella has not provided any information as to when the H3 is likely to make its appearance in consumer products, but it's good to see that in the near future there should be a range of capture devices capable of recording content for the latest 8K displays. 

Press Release:

Ambarella Introduces 8K Ultra HD SoCs for Virtual Reality and Drone Cameras

Ambarella H3 SoC delivers 8K Ultra HD at 30 frames per second and 4K Ultra HD at 120 frames per second

SANTA CLARA, Calif., January 5, 2017 -- Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA), a leading developer of low-power, HD and Ultra HD video processing semiconductors, today introduced the H3 System-on-Chip (SoC) for high-end drones and a new generation of video cameras, including 360-degree and virtual reality cameras. The H3 video SoC enables 8K Ultra HD H.264/AVC video at 30 frames per second, as well as multiple video streams with equivalent performance, including 360-degree cameras with dual 4KP60 sensor video capture.

8K videos played on large 8K displays provide a better viewing experience to the end user, as pixels at this resolution are indistinguishable to the human eye at any reasonable distance. The combination of 8K video capture together with Ambarella’s advanced oversampling and image stabilization also enables higher video quality 4K video recording.

“With the introduction of H3 we believe we provide the highest video performance and best image quality solution for high-end drones and multi-sensor video cameras,” said Fermi Wang, president and CEO of Ambarella. “H3 delivers 8Kp30 video performance to match the next generation of displays, such as 8K televisions and high resolution head-mounted displays.”

H3 includes a powerful multi-channel ISP for 360 degree video capture and multi-sensor drone applications. Its 10-bit HEVC High Dynamic Range (HDR) video processing handles high contrast and wide color range scenes. It also features Ambarella’s advanced Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), capable of generating a smooth 4Kp60 video output under challenging conditions, including during high winds and with high degrees of rotation. The integration of a quad-core ARM® Cortex®-A53 CPU with floating point and NEON™ provides significant processing power for customer applications including computer vision, wireless networking, and multi-sensor stitching algorithms. The H3’s hardware de-warping engine supports wide-angle panoramic camera designs and fish-eye lenses.

Ambarella will demonstrate the new H3 SoC at a private, invitation-only event held during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, January 5 – 8, 2017.