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.

BitSim’s IP, Bit-MIPI CSI-2 used in Flir’s new generataion of thermal cameras, the EXX-Series

Flir Systems is using BitSim’s FPGA-IP, Bit-MIPI CSI-2 in their newly launched advanced thermal cameras. Read more.

The MIPI Alliance, the non-profit corporation that brings the mobile industry together, has standardized the interface between the camera/image sensor and the receiving electronics (host processor or similar) for further image processing, through a high-speed serial interface, the MIPI CSI-2.

The market for image sensors is increasing by over 10% annually, with the consumer and automotive markets leading this growth.

With MIPI CSI-2, the camera providers can reach the market faster with this standardized way of interacting with the sensors: at a faster speed, at a higher resolution, or more cost effectively.

Today, MIPI CSI-2 is also used in other areas, such as test and measurement, industrial or medical markets.

Statement from our customer FLIR

BitSim has supported us in an exemplary way, and BitSim’s IP is one important part of the complete effort that made us reach the market faster in launching our new advanced thermal imaging cameras”, says Rikard Thunell, Vice President Sourcing & Strategic Planning of Flir.

Summarize of the Bit-MIPI CSI-2 IP:

1-4 data lanes
AXI4-Stream Video output
D-PHY protocol decoding included
Clock-lane/data-lanes deskew
Full High Speed/Low Power mode support
Test/debug features

To learn more about BitSim and our IPs, Read More: Here