THine upgrades Linux camera reference design for i.MX 8M processor

THine Solutions, Inc., a THine company, has launched its second THEIA-CAM family kit, the THSCM101, a 13-megapixel (MP) phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF) Linux camera reference design kit. The THSCM101 kit interfaces to NXP’s i.MX 8M applications processor evaluation kits (EVKs) and is based on THine’s THP7312-P image signal processor (ISP) and Sony’s IMX258 13-MP CMOS PDAF image sensor.

The THEIA-CAM family target a range of camera applications including augmented reality (AR) glasses, barcode reading devices, biometric devices, bodycams, document scanners, machine vision systems, medical scopes, microscopes, surveillance cameras, vision assistance glasses, and webcams.

THine upgrades Linux camera reference design for i.MX 8M processor

THine’s THSCM101 Linux reference design kit. Click for larger image. (Source: THine Solutions)

The latest THEIA-CAM Linux reference design kit includes a camera board, a mini-SAS cable to directly connect the camera board to the NXP i.MX 8M family EVKs’ CSI port, and all required software to stream images. The kit can be set up to stream images by connecting it to the NXP i.MX 8M EVK or i.MX 8M Mini EVK using the SD card image available at THine Solutions’ website, which includes the Video4Linux2 (V4L2) driver to control various video functions. The Linux driver, SD card image, and reference circuit schematics are available to customers.

Developers can customize the kit using THine’s GUI-based software development tools. “As a result, the THSCM101 accelerates customers’ time-to-market without expensive initial costs for developing embedded camera systems with a Linux platform,” said THine.

The company said the typical camera choice available for NXP i.MX 8M family EVKs is a 5-MP image sensor camera with embedded ISP and no capability for image customization or production scalability until now with the release of the new THEIA-CAM kit. The THSCM101 kit increases the image resolution from 5 MP to 4K2K (and potentially to 13 MP with software upgrades), improves the image quality, and adds PDAF technology that provides the ultra-fast auto-focus functionality for live video streaming and/or information scanning applications.

“Upgrading from the 5-MP to a 13-MP camera is much more than just increasing the display pixels by ×4 from 1080p to 4K. It requires to develop baseline camera features such as auto white balance and auto exposure covering those hundreds of millions of pixels per second under multiple different light sources,” said Tak Iizuka, chief solution architect of THine Solutions, in a statement. “This new kit provides engineers with all these baseline requirements along with much more including the capability of quick auto-focus and perfect unit to unit image quality.”

THine’s THP7312-P ISP, supporting high resolution up to 16 MP, and its companion camera development kit (CDK) tool enable customized image quality tuning. The CDK tool enables developers to make minor image tuning changes or more major changes of the ISP firmware for applications that require a different image sensor than the Sony IMX258.

The THSCM101 currently supports resolutions up to 4K2K using the NXP i.MX 8M Mini. Future software upgrades will increase the available resolutions including support for 13 MP. These upgrades also will allow additional i.MX 8M family EVKs to be supported including the i.MX 8M Plus.

THine upgrades Linux camera reference design for i.MX 8M processor

THSCM101 camera board (Source: THine Solutions)

The kit enables plug-and-play operation and it includes firmware optimized for most of V4L2 camera functions. Developers can use the smart reference design kit as a production-ready final product or as a development tool for high-resolution camera systems. The THSCM101 is available for purchase at Digi-Key.