BitSim and NOW Electronics joins forces

The embedded system developers BitSim and NOW Electronics, with offices in Stockholm and Växjö, will merge their operation to form BitSim NOW with 40 employees and 15 sub-contractors.

NOW Electronics, was established 1985 and BitSim 2000. Both companies work with electronics development, sensor technology, edge computing, machine vision machine learning and accelerated Imaging.

“Our companies complement each other in terms of market position and competence, where we will get a substantial increase in the FPGA area,” says Philip Nyströmer, CEO of NOW Electronics and the new merged company BitSim NOW. “Together, we are now equipped to take on larger and broader assignments in our new premises”.

“We are looking forward to working with NOW Electronics’ talented developers and thereby increasing our activities in image processing and sensor technology” says Anders Sivard, CEO of BitSim AB.

Electronics is becoming strategic in more and more markets. Through this merger, it will be possible to meet a larger demand for built-in, sensor-centered, and interconnected electronics systems, increasingly important for the whole industry.

For more information, contact Philip Nyströmer, +46-72-0798523

adapter card camera modules

Adapter Cards and Interfaces

BitSim has initiated an open connector standard for camera modules: OMIPICON. OMIPICON stands for Open MIPI CONnect and is suitable for prototypes or production of small/medium-sized quantities.

The idea behind this is to save time and money when developing hardware with camera sensors. Neither the MIPI CSI-2 standard nor the MIPI DSI standard define a specific connector which means that suppliers of sensor modules use their own connectors, incompatible with others. You then need custom designs.

In addition, most available sensor connectors today are not suited  for repeated inserts and removals. When debugging prototypes with these sensors, quite often these connector are only capable to withstand a few connections and disconnections. You end up spending too much time on connector issues.

With OMIPICON, there is only need for one FMC-adapter board and one U96 adapter board. And one adapter board per sensor. You then don’t need to insert and remove the adapter board’s connector.

adapter card camera modules

adapter card for contacting camera modules

camera moduel

 

6 Sensors

12 HD camera sensors streamed 14 Gigabit/s to a PC

The design consists of 2 cards, each with an FPGA. Each FPGA receives 6 1280 x 800 HD camera sensors 120 frames per second.

Each FPGA streams the 6 channels to a 10Gb IP UDP Ethernet block (Our own IP block) directly to a PC. Everything is done in pure HW, none of the video flow is handled by the ARM CPU in the PGA in this version. Each 10Gb Ethernet cable transfers 70% of full HW speed, i.e. 7 Gbps, at a total of 14 Gbps for the PC to receive and render.

Of course, FPGAs can also encode and compress incoming data to reduce image flow or process early.

6 Sensors

12 HD camera sensor streamed 14 Gigabit/s to PC

IR video over SPI

IR sensor interface

BitSim has developed a receiver for FLIR’s Video over SPI (VoSPI), an interface to enable streaming images from a Lepton Infrared camera directly to an FPGA-based image processing system. You can use it in your platforms like:

  • On Xilinx devices with our new customized IP.
  • On every SoC circuit with an ARM CPU and Python with our pure-software driver.
  • A Python interface which integrates the VoSPI IP in your PYNQ design.

VoSPI stands for “Video over Serial Peripheral Interface”. VoSPI protocol is designed to send out the video in a format that allows transmission over a SPI interface while requiring minimal software or hardware. The sensor acts as SPI slave and the hardware acts as SPI master and the video is streamed on MISO pin. The hardware system uses custom logic to receive and render the video. The sensor sends out bytes of pixels through packets and segments to form a frame of 160×120 resolution.

The development of this IP has been done on BitSim’s Python-based development platform, SpiderPig board. Utilizing this simple interface between the Logic fabric and the high-level Python environment, debug information and image analysis could be performed almost directly after a bitfile is generated. BitSim has developed tools for Thermal Imaging and specifically to integrate the FLIR Lepton sensor by using VoSPI.

Using this IP block, it is possible to attach a low cost FLIR Lepton IR sensor, which sends processed 16-bit data to an FPGA design. The IR sensor captures infrared radiation as input. The output is a uniform thermal image with temperature measurements throughout the image. This can be used in applications such as Mobile phones, Gesture recognition, Building automation, Thermal imaging and Night vision where detection of temperature values and high temperature scenes are necessary.

IR video over SPI

Thermal image of  a person holding a hot coffee captured by Lepton 3.5 IR sensor.

BigScience

BitSim at Big Science Lund

BitSim attended and exhibited at the BigScience Lund event November 26-27th, with over 200 attendees from the BigScience units CERN, ESS, Maxlab IV, ITER and XFEL, Swedish universities, regional organizations and industrial partners. We showed our offering in Data Acquisition such as BitSim’s FMC ADC/DAC boards. BitSim joined the BigScience Sweden organization 2019.

BigScience

CERN

Machine learning collaboration at CERN

CERN, the research faciility in Switzerland and Zenuity, a new ADAS and AD Software Company owned by Volvo and Autoliv, have announced a collaboration on machine learning based on hardware acceleration. This is exactly the area we at BitSims are exploring with our new platform Spiderpig. The idea is utilize existing libraries and the Python language to quickly develop areas such as advanced object recognition and machine learning applications. See here

This announcment from CERN and Zenuity underscores the opportunities we at BitSim see in acceleration of machine learning in hardware. Read further

CERN