Acquisitions Spur Upgrades at Lattice Semiconductor
Dec 1, 2003 12:00 PM
When Lattice Semiconductor, a developer and marketer of high-performance programmable logic devices, acquired a new site in Shanghai, China, it ended up with much more than just a new facility. It prompted a fresh look at the company's video security efforts worldwide.
The Hillsboro, Ore.-based company had begun installing Kollector digital video recorders from Vicon when it acquired some new facilities. "We had several acquisitions in 2001 and 2002, so we had to build security systems around them," says Lattice Semiconductor's corporate security manager, Eric Morse, CPP. "We decided to go to the DVR, and we took a look at the different product lines."
Once the company established a standard throughout the new facilities, it followed a policy to bring the older facilities up to standard for consistency, Morse says. However, during the process of bringing the Shanghai facility online, Vicon introduced its Kollector Elite line, thus prompting a change. "When those became available, we liked the ViconNet platform and the software that they were based on," Morse says.
Currently, Lattice has four facilities outfitted with the Kollector Elites, including Shanghai, England and two in San Jose, Calif. The company plans to upgrade all nine locations by the end of 2004, Morse says.
Access and Video Working Together
Lattice wanted the new DVRs to supplement its integrated access control system. "We were looking for our remote sites to have a standalone system that would constantly record locally, but enable corporate headquarters to access that information at any point in time," Morse says. The company's integrated access control system is supplemented by DVRs monitoring doors through the CCTV system.
"One of our main concerns is allowing only employees to enter our facilities," Morse says. "We also wanted to monitor for current employees vs. prior employees, to monitor any equipment loss or internal theft by contractors or janitorial staff, and anything else off hours that could be suspicious."
To do that, Lattice set up various alarm modules for motion sensitivity. "It will send an alarm locally and to the corporate [office] if there is any movement," Morse says. You can also set the sensitivity so if a cat or a dog outside passes by it won't alarm, but if a person does, that takes up more pixels and will cause an alarm. All this takes place before the person ever gets to the access control system."
Because these events take place over the corporate wide area network, Morse says there was a bandwidth usage question from the IT staff. Vicon walked them through the process, and they set up similar machines while measuring how much bandwidth would be needed.
"Now when there is an incident, the recorders allow greater flexibility, Morse says. "I can set the quality level of the video I want to capture. The higher the quality, the more storage it takes. The lower the quality, the more storage and history you can archive. I can balance that by camera. For archiving, I can archive directly to AVI files."
Another benefit, and a major feature Lattice was interested in, is the admissibility of the images in court. "We had someone break in to one of our facilities," Morse says. Fortunately, the images are date/time stamped and admissible in court. Anytime data is brought back, the system checks and makes sure it has not been tampered with, so it is admissible."
Just Like Being There
For Morse, being able to control everything remotely is the best feature of the new system. "I can change or modify any camera, record locally onto my PC, or change camera settings ¡ª all from a couple thousand miles away. "If I'm at my corporate facility, I can run software and it's just like I am sitting there in Shanghai."
Another plus was being able to "see" things first-hand. "We have remote locations and we have security officers that have policies and procedures they are supposed to follow," Morse says. "With the cameras, we were able to see several violations of procedures and policies that have since been corrected. You can call an officer and talk on the phone, but until you see the video you can't tell what's really going on."