Dealing with the huge volume of data involved in ultra-high-speed photography and complex image processing inevitably takes time. So how could we overcome this obstacle?
This was the question facing our development team.
To realize the pleasing photographic experience suggested by “quick and snappy,” the keyword associated with the new HIGH SPEED EXILIM, we set out to achieve three objectives.
This means the camera should start up the moment you decide to take a photo, focus in a flash when you aim the camera, and then let you take another shot right away.
In the end, the option we adopted after considering countless technological possibilities was a Dual CPU System.
This meant installing a pair of CPUs with specialized data-processing circuitry. At the same time, we also installed two hardware systems for processing images, thus creating a system that can conduct two different tasks simultaneously, with a resulting dramatic reduction in total processing time.
To use a corporate operations analogy, this can be seen as something like division of labor, in which tasks are divided between two teams and the results achieved by the respective teams are combined in the end. You might say that the camera contains a “photo-shooting team” and an “editing team,” each of which is performing its job efficiently for us.
The distinguishing feature of the EXILIM Engine HS is the installation of a reconfigurable processor.
The usual digital camera development process begins with development of the hardware as a basis and then moves on to development of the software that determines the various specifications to operate it. The process takes approximately two years. But since the completed hardware lacks flexibility, it can be impossible to change the specifications during the software development stage or to add various functions.
Installation of a reconfigurable processor has solved these problems. The circuitry supporting the hardware’s operation is extremely flexible. This processor has a large number of calculation units installed, and the ways in which they interact and operate can be changed by programming after hardware development. In short, the reconfigurable processor deserves full credit for giving us a much greater degree of freedom in developing the software that determines performance and functions.
In a divergence from conventional digital cameras, which require users to wait for one image to be processed before they can shoot another, we separated the shooting function (CPU 1) from the editing function (CPU 2). This enabled image processing and photo shooting to be conducted concurrently.
As a result, the shooting interval was shortened dramatically, as shown in the chart.