Micro/sys, a designer and manufacturer of embedded single board computers, has announced the release of its newest computer, a fully integrated camera/video platform on a low-power Freescale i.MX515 board. The SBC1654 has dual MIPI camera ports (CSI-2) from the ARM Cortex-A8 that are fully integrated into the powerful Linux BSP which includes a popular suite of open source vision development tools. The iMX515’s integrated NEON GPU enables the CMOS camera sensors to deliver users with an enhanced multi-media experience.
Complex vision applications access the on-board Spartan-6 FPGA to off-load the iMX515 from heavy vision processing and algorithm calculations, leaving the Cortex-A8 free to service typical PC type functions such as user interfaces, communication and networking and application programs. The SBC1654 is ideal for new vision applications in such fields as robotics or unmanned vehicle systems, or for upgrading legacy X86 PC/104 systems needing vision capability.
The SBC1654 hosts two MIPI CSI-2 CMOS cameras simultaneously at 30 frames per second. User selectable modes include front facing/back facing, stereo vision or a single camera using 12- or 8-bit parallel or serial sensors. CMOS camera sensor modules attach to an interface board with a user configurable pinout selector. Users select their CMOS camera sensor pinout and plug the interface board onto the back of the SBC1654. The development kit comes with an OmniVision 3640 already attached, integrated and ready to run at power-up.
The on-board Spartan-6 FPGA is user programmable with 90% available for algorithms or IP cores. Taking advantage of this feature can improve performance of an application such as edge detection on a video stream. There is a four-fold improvement in performance when such an application is implemented in the FPGA vs. run as an application program under Linux.
The Vision Development Kit (DKV1654) for the SBC1654 includes a highly integrated software package which provides Linux users a programming platform hosted on the target hardware. Simply attach a screen and keyboard and the SBC1654 is up and running. The popular Eclipse is available for editing and debugging directly on the target or from the user’s desktop via Ethernet. Another powerful feature of the Linux BSP is the vision integration layer which includes command line access to Gstreamer and OpenCV, both popular open source vision development tools. OpenCV, an Intel project, has over 47,000 users plus 2,500 powerful, pre-tested vision processing algorithms. Gstreamer, known for its pipeline design model, enables users in creating a variety of media component such as audio playback, recording, streaming and editing.
On the compact 104 Form Factor, the SBC1654 offers an abundance of features. 512MB SDRAM, 2GB flash, and 2 SD/MMC slots address the need for portability and multimedia storage simultaneously. The dual 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, multiple serial ports, and four USB ports (one On-The-Go) ensures the SBC1654 provides design engineers multiple means of embedded communication. Additional on-board peripherals include a real-time clock, watchdog timer, 1-wire interface, 24 lines of discrete I/O, two PWM outputs, audio support TV out, 24-bit LVDS flat panel display output, 4-wire touchscreen interface, and a SATA HDD port. Additional I/O expansion is available through the popular StackableUSB.