Khronos Announces New API for Computer Vision Acceleration

November 18, 2013 - The Khronos TM Group today announced the ratification and public release of the OpenVX TM 1.0 provisional specification, an open, royalty-free standard for cross platform acceleration of computer vision applications and libraries. OpenVX enables performance and power optimized computer vision algorithms for use cases such as face, body and gesture tracking, smart video surveillance, automatic driver assistance systems, object and scene reconstruction, augmented reality, visual inspection, robotics and more. The provisional release of the specification enables developers and implementers to provide feedback before specification finalization, which is expected within six months. The OpenVX 1.0 provisional specification is available at www.khronos.org/openvx.

"Computer vision is the biggest, most disruptive, application segment in technology today. From automotive, to security, to consumer capture with 3D sensors, 4K sensors, and sensors so small they can be put in UAVs the size of a fly, the processing of photons has never been more challenging," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. "Being able to manage, process, and quickly move sensor data without consuming much power is critical and only OpenVX offers the mechanisms necessary to balance all those issues - it's going to change the way we do vision systems."

OpenVX enables significant implementation innovation while maintaining a consistent API for developers. An OpenVX application expresses vision processing holistically as a graph of function nodes. An OpenVX implementer can optimize graph execution through a wide variety of techniques such as: acceleration of nodes on CPUs, GPUs, DSPs or dedicated hardware, compiler optimizations, node coalescing, and tiled execution to keep sections of processed images in local memories as they flow through the graph. Khronos has released a provisional tiled execution extension alongside the main OpenVX specification to enable user custom kernels to exploit this style of optimization. Additionally, Khronos has released the VXU TM utility library to enable developers using OpenVX to call individual nodes as standalone functions for easy code migration.

"Computer vision is central to bringing natural user interfaces and environmental awareness to mobile devices and OpenVX enables cross-platform processing with the high performance and low power that will be vital to widespread adoption," said Neil Trevett, president of the Khronos Group and vice president of mobile content at NVIDIA. "OpenVX has been designed to be implemented independently or to interoperate within the Khronos standards ecosystem for camera control, sensor fusion, data flow, compute acceleration and graphics rendering, ensuring Khronos APIs continue to meet the needs of portable, state-of the art applications."

OpenVX can be used directly by applications or to accelerate higher-level middleware, such as the popular OpenCV open source vision library that is often used for application prototyping. OpenVX will have extensive conformance tests to complement a focused and tightly defined finalized specification for consistent and reliable operation across multiple vendors and platforms making OpenVX an ideal foundation for shipping production vision applications. Finally, as any Khronos specification, OpenVX is extensible to enable nodes to be deployed to meet customer needs, ahead of being integrated into the core specification.

Industry Support
"The Itseez team is excited about the release of the OpenVX 1.0 provisional specification. It will enable speed- and power-optimized implementations of OpenCV across a wide range of mobile and embedded platforms, stimulating growth for the computer vision industry and the development of new great applications," said Victor Erukhimov, CEO, Itseez and chair of the OpenVX working group.

"CEVA extends its congratulations to the Khronos Group on the release of the OpenVX 1.0 specification, which sets the foundation for mass market adoption of computer vision applications across multiple industries," said Eran Briman, vice president of marketing at CEVA. "In particular, OpenVX directly addresses the power consumption challenges faced when implementing complex vision algorithms in power-sensitive products by enabling the seamless offload of these tasks from the CPU and GPU onto dedicated vision engines, such as our CEVA-MM3101 platform, resulting in significant power savings."

"Going forward, vision systems will be a key differentiator for a wide range of consumer products including smartphones, tablets, automotive driver assistance and many more. Based on Imagination's in-depth imaging expertise, we are offering innovative PowerVR products for imaging and vision that will enable our customers to integrate this functionality on the SoC We are pleased to see Khronos taking a leading role in driving open standards for computer vision. OpenVX 1.0 is an important starting point for accelerating creation and adoption of a wide range of vision applications," said Peter McGuinness, director of multimedia technology marketing, Imagination Technologies.

"Movidius anticipates OpenVX will stimulate incredible innovation as it enables cross-platform, scalable computer vision for mobile devices," said Remi El-Ouazzane, CEO of Movidius. "In combination with OpenVX capable applications, Movidius' computational imaging chipsets empower mobile developers to deploy vision-based applications that were simply never possible before."

"videantis congratulates the Khronos Group on reaching this major milestone. OpenVX enables efficient acceleration of computer vision algorithms, a key technology driving new applications such as always-on camera applications, gesture interfaces, and automotive driver assistance systems. We're proud to bring support for this new standard to our v-MP4000HDX scalable unified video/vision processor architecture," said Hans-Joachim Stolberg, CEO at videantis.

"The release of OpenVX 1.0 is a ground-breaking step that will accelerate mass market adoption of computer vision applications in mobile, home, automotive, and embedded products. The specification benefits developers and lays a foundation for complex vision algorithms to be simplified and power/performance/bandwidth optimized on OpenVX compliant hardware, enabling novel uses of vision processing on any platform. Participation in the workgroup has allowed us to make significant breakthroughs in our Vega GPUs to streamline the visual processing pipeline from beginning to end," said Wei-Jin Dai, Vivante CEO.

OpenVX at SIGGRAPH Asia, Hong Kong
Visit us in Booth #F07 to meet with OpenVX experts.

Khronos DevU, Wednesday November 20th, Room S226
15:30-16:15, Erik Noreke, Khronos, Enabling Augmented Reality - Camera Processing, Vision Acceleration and Sensor Fusion - including OpenVX and StreamInput.

About The Khronos Group
The Khronos Group is an industry consortium creating open standards to enable the authoring and acceleration of parallel computing, graphics, vision, sensor processing and dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. Khronos standards include OpenGL®, OpenGL®ES, WebGL TM, OpenCL TM, WebCL TM, OpenVX TM, OpenMAX TM, OpenVG TM, OpenSL ES TM, StreamInput TM and COLLADA TM. All Khronos members are enabled to contribute to the development of Khronos specifications, are empowered to vote at various stages before public deployment, and are able to accelerate the delivery of their cutting-edge media platforms and applications through early access to specification drafts and conformance tests. More information is available at  www.khronos.org.

Khronos, DevU, StreamInput, WebGL, WebCL, COLLADA, OpenKODE, OpenVG, OpenVX, OpenSL ES and OpenMAX are trademarks of the Khronos Group Inc. ASTC is a trademark of ARM Holdings PLC, OpenCL is a trademark of Apple Inc. and OpenGL is a registered trademark and the OpenGL ES and OpenGL SC logos are trademarks of Silicon Graphics International used under license by Khronos. All other product names, trademarks, and/or company names are used solely for identification and belong to their respective owners.


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