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Canon aims to transform live sports with help from AMD’s Versal AI Core

The Versal AI Core devices provide machine learning-based video processing at the edge for Canon's camera systems

Canon has selected AMD’s Versal AI Core for its new Free Viewpoint Video System, which is expected to revolutionise the viewing experience for live sport broadcasts and webcasts.

The Versal AI Core devices provide machine learning-based video processing at the edge for Canon’s camera systems.

The Canon Free Viewpoint video system consists of a ring of high-resolution cameras that surround a stadium or arena to allow TV viewers to see the action on the field from any position or angle in the stadium.

It is expected to be deployed at multiple professional arenas in the United States and other major sports venues around the world.

“This single-chip Versal solution allows our system to do more in real-time than we ever envisioned possible,” said Masanori Yamada, senior managing executive officer, head of Imaging Group, Canon. “Versal AI Core’s powerful edge-processing capabilities enable our system to handle multiple functions simultaneously so broadcasters can deliver new and immersive viewing experiences.”

According to AMD, the Versal AI Core series significantly shortens image processing time, allowing live replays to be produced in near real-time, compared to several minutes with traditional architectures.

Canon technology will move the intelligence of AI-based video processing to the edge, thereby reducing the workload in the data centre. Versal AI Core will power the image-processing system that sits behind each of the Canon cameras deployed around a venue and implements proprietary Canon algorithms for image detection, segmentation, and more using ML at the edge.