Spotlight on our experts: Stefano ZammattioMay 18, 2021
With so many exciting events going on within Active Silicon at the moment, we thought we’d ask our experts to explain more about their current projects and future plans.
A lot’s been happening to our Harrier range over the last few months, we’ve added new products and improved others. So, to kick off our ‘Spotlight on the experts’ series, we spoke to Senior Product Manager, Stefano Zammattio, to get to grips with the latest developments.
You’re celebrating your two year anniversary with Active Silicon this month. What do you feel has changed the most in the company over that time?
“The most significant change has been the effect of Covid-19 on our working practices. Currently, most of us work from home most of the time, so we’ve had to adapt the way we work together. We use Teams chats and meetings now instead of in-person meetings. Once you are used to it, it’s quite effective but it’s difficult to replace the corridor conversations and ad-hoc debug sessions around a piece of uncooperative hardware!
“As a company we’ve broadened our Harrier AFZ camera and camera interface board range significantly, and are starting to expand our BlueBird video adapter range. The latest additions to our product ranges include new AFZ camera modules, camera interface boards and video adapter solutions that enable real-time, high-resolution image capture and processing across a wide variety of output formats.”
What do you think is influencing the vision industry most strongly right now?
“The two next ‘big things’ for the industry have to be AI and 4K. Neither of these is particularly new but they’re slowly moving towards the point where they’ll be cost-effective enough to be adopted industry wide. AI in particular will bring huge changes to the industry as the potential for new applications is huge; with silicon vendors introducing lower cost AI targeted processing platforms the hardware platform becomes increasingly viable, but the real challenge is the cost of implementing the AI and the potential liability if it goes wrong. I think it will take some time before the industry achieves a cost effective and truly easy-to-use AI technology – but we will get there!”
What are you working on at the moment?
“Recently I’ve been working on adding new cameras to the Active Silicon Harrier AFZ camera range. This includes cameras with global shutter capability, 36x zoom and integrated SDI/EX-SDI output; we are currently evaluating a 40x camera and various 4k solutions. We will continue to extend the camera range based on the demands from our customers. It’s important to be able to offer customers a choice of product to meet different types of requirement, this is why Active Silicon offer custom design services – where customers can request tailored products to suit their needs. Recently I’ve been involved in two design services projects to add advanced features to our existing products – one of which may turn into a new BlueBird video adapter product.”
What’s the best bit about your job? Which of your projects or developments are you most proud of?
“The part of my job that I enjoy the most is seeing a new product being released; it’s not just having a new product to offer customers but also knowing that it’s a great solution with excellent support, and that I played a significant role in its development. My favourite development is the Harrier USB/HDMI camera interface board – this was the first product I was involved with from its very beginning at Active Silicon. As it’s actually quite a complex product, we had some challenges during development; but the team managed to elegantly solve all the issues we encountered and created a leading edge product that’s the best in its class. I am proud of the quality of the product and the engineering that went into its development.”
What’s next on the horizon?
“The Harrier and Bluebird product ranges will continue to improve and grow. Our recent acquisition into the Solid State Plc group broadens our technical capabilities and is bringing us interesting new project opportunities that may mature into further additions to our product range that will bring our products into different areas of our current markets, or even completely new ones.