In a competitive industry with fast innovation cycles, a lot of attention is focused on next generation cameras and next generation camera systems. Even though you might not know the name, if you own a DJI Phantom drone, chances are you have an Ambarella chipset inside powering your camera. No, Ambarella has nothing to do with the new DJI Inpsire 1 X5 cameras. However, Ambarella is working on some ambitious new chipsets that you may find powering the cameras in your next quadcopter purchase.
One of the company’s most ambitious project to date has been the January release of the H1 camera System-On-Chip (SoC) for drone cameras. The chipset supports 4K Ultra HD H.264 video encoding at 60 frames per second for high-speed live-action recording with smooth slow-motion capabilities. It also supports the new H.265/HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) video standard for 4K Ultra HD encoding at up to 30 frames per second, providing higher image quality at lower bitrates as well as faster video uploads and higher resolution video streaming.
“The adoption of 4K Ultra HD video has been accelerating across consumer electronics markets,” said Wang in a press release. “The Ambarella H1 will enable a new generation of sports and flying cameras with high frame rate Ultra HD video, bringing professional-quality film making to the consumer.”
While not originally known for drone chipsets, Ambarella is following the money and it may offer them a new area of growth.
Ambarella AMBA, -3.01% is mostly known today for making the chips that power GoPro’s GPRO, -3.22% wearable video cameras, and where one stock has gone so the other has followed. But Ambarella is pushing into a category that may offer a strong new area of growth: supplying the chips for high-end, commercial-grade drones.
Consumer drones have grown in popularity over the past few years with the introduction of hardware such as DJI’s Phantom in April and the release of a GoPro drone in July. But this year’s big drone announcements have less to do with the flying robot and more with the quality of the camera mounted on them.
With technical experience earned in other markets, Ambarella is strategically positioned to take advantage of the rapidly growing drone industry.
Ambarella, Inc. is a leading developer of low-power, high-definition (HD) and Ultra HD video compression and image processing solutions. The company’s products are used in a variety of professional and consumer applications including security IP-cameras, sports cameras, wearable cameras, flying cameras and automotive video processing solutions. Ambarella compression chips are also used in broadcasting TV programs worldwide.