Ambarella generates about $90 million a quarter in revenues from its video compression and image processing chips. Today, the company is launching two new chips that will bring advanced vision processing to next-generation cars, drones, and security cameras.

Santa Clara, California-based Ambarella is showing the CV1 and CV22 families of chips at CES 2018, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week. Ambarella has survived by doing things that other larger chip companies can’t do, such as high-end, extremely power-efficient image processing. As the commodity rivals catch up, Ambarella moves on to tougher problems. And that’s exactly what it’s doing with the shift to vision processing, a key component of artificial intelligence processing.

The Ambarella chips are based on the CVflow architecture, which is optimized for computer vision algorithms such as stereo processing and deep neural networks, said Les Kohn, chief technology officer at Ambarella, in an interview with VentureBeat.

In contrast to digital signal processors (DSPs) or graphics processing units (GPUs), the CVflow designs can scale up to much higher performance levels per core, or processing brain, Kohn said.

“It allows for much more efficient computation,” Kohn said. “Computer vision is the next big challenge for us. We realized a few years ago that image processing and video compression were reaching a point where there was not a huge amount of innovation left. Computer vision requires an almost unlimited amount of processing power and plays to our strength of delivering high performance at a low cost and high…

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