Ann Arbor Sensor Systems raises bar on value, quality with Blackfin-powered AXT100 camera

Norwood, MA (02/14/2006) - Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a global leader in high-performance semiconductors for signal processing applications, today announced that its ADSP-BF533 Blackfin® is enabling the AXT100 thermal infrared imaging camera from Ann Arbor Sensor Systems LLC ( Blackfin, which plays a pivotal role in the AXT100’s transformation of infrared energy into color images, has ultimately helped Ann Arbor shatter the traditional price/performance barriers that have slowed the thermal infrared imaging camera market.

Infrared imaging is critical in manufacturing applications, such as die-casting and plastic injection, for specifications that are not visible to the naked eye. Ann Arbor’s AXT100 camera uses an array of sensors, called Thermopile Focal Plane Array (TFPA), which allows for much smaller, lighter, and more power-efficient cameras.

“Until now, fixed cameras for process-control applications were very expensive and not widely adopted because of the cost barrier,” said David Kryskowski, director of Ann Arbor Sensor Systems. “To develop a lower-cost solution, we needed a signal processor that offered a low-risk, rapid design cycle that did not require a lot of ‘glue logic’ to connect the processor to memory and peripherals.”

“With its high-level of integration on a single chip and processing performance of 600 MHz, Blackfin proved to be the ideal solution for us. We’ve been so blown away by the processor’s performance that we plan to use the ADSP-BF561, the dual core Blackfin processor, for our next-generation thermal infrared imaging camera.”

Ann Arbor also benefited from using uClinux – an open-source embedded real-time operating system (RTOS), which is ported on Blackfin processors – to develop its application. Using a graphical user interface (GUI) and the Blackfin STAMP development platform, Ann Arbor was able to write its own device-specific drivers and modified parameters.

“Having uClinux on Blackfin dramatically reduced our development time and costs,” said Kryskowski. “We designed our camera using the Blackfin STAMP board and uClinux, which provided the software drivers we needed for the Ethernet interface, to name one example. We made some minor modifications to the prototype board, but the camera worked the first time with very few changes to the software.”

Added John Croteau, General Manager, Convergent Platforms and Services Group, Analog Devices, Inc., “Across industries, our Blackfin processors are being adopted in greater and greater numbers as a key enabling technology in designs that place a premium on innovation and time-to-market. Our work with Ann Arbor Systems again highlights that designers can ‘have it all’ with Blackfin – low-cost, high-performance and great power efficiency.”

A Convergent Future Demands Blackfin-Class Processing
Analog Devices’ Blackfin® embodies a new breed of 16/32-bit embedded processor with the industry’s highest performance and power efficiency for applications where a convergence of capabilities – multi-format audio, video, voice and image processing; multi-mode baseband and packet processing; and real-time security and control processing – are critical. It is this powerful combination of software flexibility and scalability that has gained Blackfin widespread adoption in convergent applications such as digital home entertainment; networked and streaming media; automotive telematics and infotainment; and digital radio and mobile TV.

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices' common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ADI” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

Blackfin is a registered trademark of Analog Devices, Inc. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners.

Editor's Contact Information:

Jessen Wehrwein

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