Camera board

Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:48 am

Hello all,
I read in another thread that someone was working on a camera board for the Parallella. Anyone still working on that? If not, whats the best option to connect a camera to the Parallella, besides USB?
Greetings
Pedro
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Re: Camera board

Postby Bikeman » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:11 pm

Is this for stills or video?

If you need video, I would seriously consider to use an inexpensive Raspberry Pi with Raspberry Pi Camera Module as a "camera board", and then interface to the PI from the Parallella via USB perhaps or Ethernet.

The Raspberry Pi camera module is very inexpensive , offers an IR-sensitive variant (it will *not* be able to image e.g. body heat, but will work well with human-invisible IR illumination, e.g. for property surveillance at night, animal behavior studies at night etc) and can do video at full HD. It connects directly to the GPU of the Raspberry Pi via a custom connector, so you'll need a Raspi to use it. As the Parallella has no GPU and therefore no specialized hardware for video processing, especially video processing in real time would be a big burden on the CPU).

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Re: Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:05 am

Its for image processing, like detecting the presence of an object, etc. I'm an independent contractor in automation and this is for my own R&D, for now I don't have a specific project. Smart cameras cost a fortune so I'm looking for less expensive opensource solutions. I have a raspberry and camera ;-) and the camera works pretty well, but the RPi is not very powerful for image processing. I was hoping someone would plug a camera into the parallella. Isn't it possible to do it using FPGA / eLink directly? Even if we need to sacrifice the HDMI controller?
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Re: Camera board

Postby 9600 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:35 am

pedro_nf wrote:I was hoping someone would plug a camera into the parallella. Isn't it possible to do it using FPGA / eLink directly? Even if we need to sacrifice the HDMI controller?


I can't think why you wouldn't be able to interface a camera via the FPGA GPIO, and hopefully someone who knows more about the specifics can comment on what would be involved besides writing some RTL and possibly a driver.

Regards,

Andrew
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Re: Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:04 pm

thanks 9600! I didn't have time to use my parallella much, too much work lately, but I'm downloading the latest SD card image and I'll test it this week end.
hey 9600, you should be promoted to 57600 !!! :-D sorry I couldn't resist making this joke...
if anyone out there has some pointers on how to connect a camera to the GPIO of the parallella board, you're well come to publish some info here...!
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Re: Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:41 am

hey guys don't you all answer at the same time about camera connections to the parallella...!
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Re: Camera board

Postby greytery » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:54 pm

hey Pedro,

Connecting - or trying to connect - cameras is a well worked topic.
Try searching for "camera" - you'll get~ 6 pages of posts.

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Re: Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:17 pm

hi greytery,
yes, I know, I read them all!
but I didn't find specific / practical answers... I do mostly software but I also like to go down into the darkness world of hardware ;-) to do some low level programing, drivers, camera control... but I don't have much experience with FPGA, different ways of camera linking, etc.
so I was looking for answers like:
- is there room in the parallella FPGA to directly drive / get data from camera?
- are there enough GPIOs to connect the camera?
- can we put camera images fast enough into the parallella memory for processing?
- type of camera to use
- what kind of bus for camera command / data communication
- is it better to develop a camera board or get one from the market (opensource)
- is it better to use a standard camera link or create a new one (mode efficient for parallella)?
thanks in advance for any answers!
greetings
pedro
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Re: Camera board

Postby rainer fritz » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:07 pm

Hi !

My first post here. To hook up a sensor and compress/store the signal on board would be an awesome application to build an open camera.
The guys from Apertus are currently developing an open source camera, and I heard that they are also very interested in the parallella board.
https://www.apertus.org/
It's possible that Herbert or Sebastian, one of the heads of the project will chime in.
They are currently using a Cmosis Sensor. Most sensors of them offer extended dynamic range as a global shutter.
http://www.cmosis.com/products/standard_products/
I think the sensor of viimagic could fit also, the 9226 sensor has also extended dynamic range, global shutter and 2k resolution.
http://www.viimagic.com/cmos-image-sensors/cmos-hd-tv-image-sensor-ceramic.html
The viimagic sensor for example provides up to 16 LVDS channels for picture data... how much LVDS channels can be used as input on the parallella board, and
does they have all a deserializer?

best,
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Re: Camera board

Postby pedro_nf » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:43 pm

hi rainer,
thanks for your post. things are starting to move ;-)
someone already PM'de me about the open source camera from apertus. I'll check it out.
I'll also check your links this evening.
I'll keep up posting updates here
greetings
pedro
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