Camera Head Technology
November 14, 2002
Ikegami: HL-60W: Evolving Technology
The new Ikegami HL-60W, a fully digital SDTV ENG/EFP camera, exemplifies the importance we place on the continuing evolution and improvement of camera head technology and design.
We've spent a lot of time developing the new ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) for the HL-60W, which is at the heart of any DSP camera head. The ASIC is the chief video processing component, and itâs responsible for all the camera head processing after the analog-to-digital conversion. A better ASIC can lead to fewer components for reduced size, weight, complexity, and power consumption, as well as powerful new features.
The new DSP ASIC that we're using is highly efficient. It boasts a .18 micron design with 3,000,000 gates; significantly smaller and more streamlined than the one used in the HL-60Wâs predecessor, the HL-59, with its .3 micron design and only 300,000 gates. What was previously done with 11 ASICs is now done with a single ASIC in the HL-60W, which is our first SD camera to use this component. When that gets smaller, everything else benefits. The result is a much lighter, more compact digital processing system, which allows the HL-60W camera head to weigh in at just 5.1 pounds, with a low 10-W power consumption.
Another improvement to the HL-60W's camera head is on the CCD itself, now working with advanced AIT (Advanced Interline Transfer). Replacing the more complex and expensive FIT (Frame Interline Transfer) of past models, it has a high sensitivity of f11 and a very low vertical smear of -135dB. With a high resolution of 750 TV lines, weâve realized high performance and better specs in a lower-priced package.
When you talk about imaging techniques and capabilities, which are largely a part of the ASIC, Ikegami has really distinguished itself in color reproduction and DTL enhancement. Our color correction function allows for subjective control of hue and saturation of the six color vectors, without disturbing the linear matrix set-up. An interesting addition is auto detection for two specific colors chosen by the operator, for total control of hue, saturation, and luminance level. There's also a new Slim DTL for thinner detail edge, new Skin DTL for even better softening of complexion, and a Super Knee system that retrieves much of the color lost in a traditional Knee circuit.
Naturally, the ASIC requires software to run it, and Ikegami has invested a lot of research in the development of both the software and the user interface. The operator menu system works off a single rotary encoder, guiding a menu that is logical and easy to understand. A smart media memory card allows lens and scene files to be easily saved, recalled, and shared from camera to camera, transferred to a PC, and even emailed from computer to computer.