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 hunell, 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