One Article to know - Difference between Ambarella, Novatek, AIT, Sunplus, Allwinner for different market.


Many of our customers usually asking "What is chipset and Why Ambarella is the best? And What is the exactly difference". This should be a very long story if we answer it in details, so here we collect some information which would help for understanding.

"Solution(Chipset)": Means which chipset we use to achieve the video recording function. All car camera or sports camera got the same main feature,the light is imaged on the image sensor via an optical lens. These image data is very large(a 5MP camera could produce 450M-900M data per second),these data must be compressed before they can be stored on the memory card,so chipset will do this job. Except data compressing, chipset is also responsible for correcting the image landscaping,making the image becomes clearer.Also providing other features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,Loop recording, burst, time lapse etc... Usual chipset in the market like:

Ambarella(USA), Novatek(Taiwan), AIT(Taiwan), Hisilicon(China), SQ(Taiwan), Sunplus(Taiwan), Allwinner(China), STK(Taiwan), MTK(Taiwan), Altek(Taiwan), Generalplus(Taiwan) etc... So let's introduce thest chipset(company) one by one if possible.


1.Ambarella - US company,they are experienced on video processing, advanced algorithm on image processing and image compression,the leader in video image industry. But the car camera market is very small for such predators, so the initial investment is not big, after the market outbreak year of 2014, they start forcing the car camera market, main chipsets are Ambarella A2,A5,A7(A7La30,A7La50,A7La70), now newest A12, for the high-end market. Please note the performance and price also would have a lot difference between A7La30 and A7La70 though they are same A7 level. Ambarella always introduce 2 lines on the same level chipset, A?La and A?Ls/A?s for car camera and action camera market, the performance&features for action camera usually better than the same level car camera, also higher cost.  Because they are not only working for the car camera or action camera, but also the entire video industry, so the underlying design of chip is more widely compare with other chipset/company. Some core technology are not in China, and many core code is not fully open, so the products have small difference between those factories who use the Ambarella chipset.This is the main problem need to fix. What products using this chipset? 



2. Novatek - The No.2 big IC company, very powerful. Main featurs is lower cost of most Taiwan Chipset company, usually lack of top technical things, but mature technology is enought to make beautiful and good price products. Early in the launch of 1080P by Ambarella, they only have 720P products, but the market share is still ok because of cost-effective,but with the growing popularity of 1080P, 720P market has been eroded by 1080P. So they made the 96650 chipset in 2013 in the silence, join the 1080P club, but this chipset came out on a wide range of attention, NT96650 equipped with Micron 0330 sensor, the daytime,details,definiton and night performance are all very good, and much better than Ambarella A5 series or even close to Ambarella A7 series, while the price is far below than Ambarella A5, which made the recorder industry share structure has a huge impact.  In 2014, in order to make up for themselves in dual lens solution, they launched the NT96655 program, biggest difference between 96655 and 96650 is: NT96655 is dual channel,and NT96650 is single channel. That make it capable to take 2 cameras, it is similar with Allwinner chipset, and the Allwinner has always been the flagship dual-lens car camera. But what is the difference between NT96655 and Allwinner F20/A10 these dual-lens chipset ? It is NT96655 built in ISP, but Allwinner F20/A10 does not, chipset with built in ISP which means it will compatible with more kinds of Sensor in the market.



3.Allwinner - Headquartered in Zhuhai,China. They has been engaged in the tablet PC program development, car camera is the new project for them. They know it is hard to beat with Ambarella, so they are going in another way, focusing on dual channel cameras. All of the dual channel car cameras in the market before July 2014 are nearly all based on Allwinner. And in the intelligent car camera(Android platform), they are in a leading position, because its main market is the Tablet PC (Android platform based). So they have a stronger advantage in the multi-functional android cameras, very good expansion ability such as 3G/4G. Main problem for them is video quality always not very well, and the stability of Android system. If they spend more on these two points, their development prospects should be very good.



4.AIT - Taiwan IC company. Join the car camera industry very late, bring the 1080P product as their first step, image quality is good, but price always can not come down, it should be the sales strategy problem in my personal opinion. Lost the main price advantage from Taiwan, so market is not going very well at that time. But the cost performance being good from 2013 because of a lot mass production, and now also join in the dual-channel recording market, most being used in Rearview mirror driving recorders currently.



5.SQ - Taiwan IC company. Military background, the price is very low, general image performance, slightly larger power consumption, most important feature is the high stability in high temperature or low temperature, market share rate is ok in low-end market, but now almost be insteaded by Generalplus.



6.Sunplus - Taiwan IC company. Famous consumer electronics chipset company. Products covers microcontroller chip, multimedia chip, LCD driver and control chips and memory chips, etc.,had a brilliant performance in the area of digital cameras, never fail in low-cost camera market. But because of excessive low-cost, making the product on grade of materials are lower, cause the whole product performance is not stable. Their products are mostly used for 3-in-1 (driving recorder+electronic dog) products, performance is still good.



7.Generalplus - Taiwan IC company. The first group to enter the car camera industry, price is very low, but very poor performance such as VGA,480P. They introduced the 720P product in 2014, very good cost-effective, same level as NT96220, but lower power consumption, anti-jamming ability is good, most been used in 3-in-1 car camera. Now they have the 1080P product, still the same kind.



8.Altek - Taiwan IC company. Professional image solution, very powerful in digital camera and cellphone image processing. But they did not spend so many energy on car cameras, so very high cost, only individual manufacturers use it.


9.STK - Taiwan IC company, enter the car camera industry very early, good market share in VGA era, but after 720P and 1080P, they are losing the competitiveness.

10.MTK - No.1 Taiwan IC company because of copy cellphones, PK with Qualcomm in cellphone industry.They did not pay enough attention on car camera,so still not popular yet and very less information.



11.Hisilicon - New China IC company, from Huawei Group. This chipset firstly to be used in TV box, then CCTV industry, main focus on after end DVR and fore-end digital camera chipset,positioning in the lower end market, they are located in Shenzhen, which has very good support to manufacturers. Looking foward to their development on H.265 / VR / 4K /8K times. 


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