Texas Instruments DaVinci

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DaVinci Video/Vision Processors
TI DaVinci processors became widely used in HD IPCamera market. TI offers reference designs like the above to make it easy for camera manufacturers to use DaVinci processors.
DesignerTexas Instruments
EndiannessLittle-endian for ARM, Big-endian for DSP

The Texas Instruments DaVinci is a family of system on a chip processors that are primarily used in embedded video and vision applications.[1][2] Many of the processors in the family combine a DSP core based on the TMS320 C6000 VLIW DSP family and an ARM CPU core into a single system on chip. By using both a general-purpose processor and a DSP, the control and media portions can both be executed by processors that excel at their respective tasks.

Later chips in the family included DSP only and ARM only processors. All the later chips integrate several accelerators to offload commodity application specific processing from the processor cores to dedicated accelerators. Most notable among these are HDVICP, an H.264, SVC and MPEG-4 compression and decompression engine, ISP, an accelerator engine with sophisticated methods for enhancing video, primarily input from camera sensors and an OSD engine for display acceleration. Some of the newest processors also integrate a vision coprocessor in the SoC.


TI DaVinci processors were originally targeted for video applications and were called Video DSPs

DaVinci processors were introduced at a time when embedded processors with homogeneous processor cores were widely used. These processors were based either on cores that could do signal processing optimally, like DSPs or GPUs or based on cores that could do general purpose processing optimally, like, powerPC, ARM, StrongARM and so on. By using both a general-purpose processor and a DSP on a single chip, the control and media portions can both be executed by processors that excel at their respective tasks. By providing a bundled offering with system and application software, evaluation modules and debug tools based on Code Composer Studio, TI DaVinci processors were intended to win over a broader set of customers looking to add video feature to their electronic products.

TI announced its first DaVinci branded video processors, the DM6443 and DM6446, on 5 December 2005.[3][4][5][6][7] A year later, TI followed up with DSP only versions of the chips in the family, called DM643x (DM6431, DM6433, DM6435, DM6437).[8][9] On January 15, 2007, TI announced DM6441 that is pin-pin compatible with DM6446, but a lower end version[10] With increased investment and significant focus on the DaVinci product line, following products were announced:

  • May 21, 2007 — TMS320DM648 — Processor offering $40 reduction in BOM for security applications[11]
  • Sep 4, 2007 — TMS320DM355 — Sub $10 ARM+co-processor chip for MPEG-4 encode/decode[12]
  • Dec 30, 2007 — TMS320DM6467 — 10x performance improvement over DM6446[13]
  • Jul 18, 2008 — TMS320DM335 — ISP only version of DM355[14]
  • Nov 18, 2008 — TMS320DM357 — Low cost realtime D1 H.264 video encode[15]
  • March 3, 2009 — TMS320DM365 — Sub $10 ARM+co-processor chip for 720p30 and 1080p H.264 encode/decode[16]
  • March 18, 2010 — TMS320DM8168 — 36x channels of realtime D-1 H.264 encode/decode or 6x channels of realtime HD H.264 encode/decode[17]
  • April 14, 2010 — TMS320DM368 — Pin-pin compatible processor with DM365 that can do 1080p30 H.264 encode/decode[18]
  • May 10, 2010 — DMVA2 — Pin-pin compatible processor with DM365 and DM368 that can do analytics in addition to H.264 compression[19]
  • Mar 1, 2011 — TMS320DM8148 — 12x channels of D-1 H.264 encode performance with DSP for analytics[20]
  • Dec 3, 2012 — DM385 and DM8107 — ARM+co-processor chips that does 1080p60 encode/decode and high quality image processing. DM8107 was for multi-channel DVR/NVR market[21]
  • Apr 10, 2013 — DM369 — ARM+co-processor chip pin-pin compatible with DM365, DM365 and DMVA2, with enhanced low-light performance[22]
  • Oct 29, 2013 — DM388, DMVA3, DM383 — ARM+co-processor chip pin-pin compatible with DM385, adding enhanced video quality and analytics[23]

Today DaVinci processors are used in a variety of video and vision applications, including IP Security cameras, DVR/NVR systems, car blackboxes (car dvr or cab cam), drones, and so on.


Many of these model numbers should, formally, be prefixed by TMS320; the prefix is usually omitted for brevity. So for example the full part number for the DM6446 begins with TMS320DM6446 and has a suffix indicating its packaging type (a BGA flavor) and temperature rating.

Processor Release Date ARM DSP Co-processor Camera Application Multichannel DVR/NVR Application
DM6446 Dec 5, 2005 ARM9 C64x+ DSP ISP, OSD, VENC Yes
DM6437 Nov 14, 2006 ARM9 C64x+ DSP ISP, OSD, VENC Yes
DM6441 Jan 15, 2007 ARM9 C64x+ DSP ISP, OSD, VENC
DM648 May 21, 2007   C64x+ DSP   Yes
DM355 Sep 4, 2007 ARM9 ISP, VICP, MJCP, OSD, VENC Yes
DM6467 Dec 30, 2007 ARM9 C64x+ DSP Yes
DM335 Jul 18, 2008 ARM9 ISP Yes
DM357 Nov 18, 2008 ARM9 ISP Yes
DM365 Mar 3, 2009 ARM9 ISP, HDVICP1, OSD, VENC Yes
DM8168 Mar 18, 2010 A8 C64x+ DSP ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS Yes
DM368 Apr 14, 2010 ARM9 ISP, HDVICP1, OSD, VENC Yes
DM8148 Mar 1, 2011 A8 C64x+ DSP ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS, NF Engine, VCOP Yes Yes
DM8127 Mar 1, 2011 A8 C64x+ DSP ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS, NF Engine, VCOP Yes
DM385 Dec 3, 2012 A8 ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS Yes
DM8107 Dec 3, 2012 A8 ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS Yes
DM369 Apr 10, 2013 ARM9 ISP, HDVICP1, OSD, VENC, NF Engine Yes
DM388 Oct 29, 2013 A8 ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS Yes
DMVA3 Oct 29, 2013 A8 ISP, HDVICP2, HDVPSS, VCOP Yes


The DaVinci processor families include a number of on-chip peripherals. Depending on the particular device, these may include:


  • Most the TMS320 DSPs include a TMS320 Chip Support Library (CSL) which is an API used to control the peripherals. However, since the philosophy for the DaVinci was to allow the ARM/Linux side to control the peripherals via Linux drivers, support for the CSL on the DM644x (dual core ARM/DSP) is not currently available for the DSP.

Operating systems[edit]

Through special plugins provided by Texas Instruments, GStreamer makes use of hardware acceleration provided by e.g. Texas Instruments DaVinci.

The DSP included in many DaVinci-based devices generally runs TI's TI-RTOS Kernel real-time operating system. When multiple, heterogeneous cores are included in the device (e.g. DM644x), DSP/BIOS Link drivers run on both the ARM processor and the DSP to provide communication between the two.

A number of operating systems for the DaVinci ARM and support DaVinci and the DSP/BIOS Link drivers:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Overview - DaVinci Processors
  2. ^ Wiki - DaVinci Overview
  3. ^ EDN: TI Unveils DaVinci Development Kit for Video, DSPs Archived 2014-08-26 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Linuxgizmos: Linux drives next-gen video gadget chip
  5. ^ Embedded.com: Single-chip systems make digital video easy
  6. ^ BDTI: TI Launches First “DaVinci” Video Processors
  7. ^ EETimes: December Newsletter: TI Launches First "DaVinci" Video Processors
  8. ^ EDN: Digital video processor breaks $10
  9. ^ Texas Instruments Announces DaVinci Family Extensions
  10. ^ TI's Latest DaVinci Processor Drives Growth of Portable Digital Video Applications
  11. ^ Texas Instruments DaVinci(TM) Technology Doubles System Performance with a $40 System BOM Reduction for Video Security and Surveillance Applications
  12. ^ Texas Instruments Launches New Low-Cost DaVinci™ Processor to Spur Growth of Portable, HD Video Applications
  13. ^ TI Delivers First Single-Chip, Real-Time HD Video Transcoding Solution with DaVinci™ Technology
  14. ^ Design costs for portable display electronics drop with TI's lowest cost digital media processor
  15. ^ New digital media processor from Texas Instruments provides H.264 at D1 resolution for professional quality video on low-cost consumer video products
  16. ^ New TMS320DM365 processor from Texas Instruments provides pixel-perfect 1080p H.264 video flexibility without the design complexity
  17. ^ New DM8168 DaVinci™ video SoC from Texas Instruments offers best-in-class embedded video performance for video surveillance and video communications
  18. ^ New TMS320DM368 DaVinci™ video processor from Texas Instruments offers full HD video with a boost in ARM® performance for advanced video applications
  19. ^ Texas Instruments launches DaVinci™ DMVA2 video processor, the first megapixel IP camera SoC with smart analytics
  20. ^ Can you see us now? Newest video processors from TI transform the video experience with 3x greater HD video processing performance
  21. ^ New TI DaVinci™ video processors bring "true-to-life" image quality and unparalleled performance in low-light surveillance conditions
  22. ^ TI delivers best-in-class low-light technology for megapixel IP camera market with new DaVinci™ DM369 video SoC
  23. ^ Revitalizing the next-generation of cameras, TI delivers best-in-class integrated Image Signal Processing (ISP) technology in new DaVinci™ video processors

External links[edit]