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Posts Tagged ‘camera’

$399 Intel Euclid Robotics Devkit Runs Ubuntu & ROS on Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Processor

May 22nd, 2017 No comments

We’ve seen many mini PC based on Intel Atom x5/x7 “Cherry Trail” processor in the last year, but Intel has also integrated their low power processor into hardware aimed at robotics, such as Intel RealSense development kit based on Atom x5 UP Board and RealSense R200 depth camera. The company has now launched its one-in-all Intel Euclid development kit combining Atom X7-Z8700 processor with a RealSense camera in a single enclosure.

Click to Enlarge

Intel Euclid specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Cherry Trail quad core processor @ up to 2.4GHz with Intel HD Graphics Gen 8
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR3-1600
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.0 flash, Micro SD slot up to 128GB
  • Video Output – micro HDMI port up to 4K @ 30 Hz
  • Audio – 2x I2S interfaces, 1W mono speaker, 3x DMIC with noise cancellation
  • Camera – Intel RealSense ZR300 camera
    • RGB camera – 2MP up to [email protected], 16:9 aspect ratio, rolling shutter, fixed focus, 75° x 41.5° x 68° FOV
    • Stereo imagers – 2x [email protected], global shutter, fixed focus, 70° x 46° x 59° FOV
    • Depth output – up to 628 × 468 @ 60fps, 16-bit format; Minimal depth distance: 0.6 M (628 x 468) or 0.5 M (480 x 360); active IR stereo technology
    • Tracking module
      • Fisheye camera resolution: VGA @ 60fps,  FOV: 166° × 100° × 133° FOV,
      • IMU: 3-axis accelerometer & 3-axis gryroscope with 50 μsec time stamp accuracy
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n 1×1 WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS (GNS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, QZSS, WAAS, EGNOS)
  • Sensors – Integrated Sensor Hub (ISH), accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, ambient light, proximity, thermal, environmental (barometer, altimeter, humidity, temperature)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB OTG port with power, 1x micro USB 2.0 port for UART / serial console
  • Misc – ¼” standard tripod mounting hole; power and charging LEDs;
  • Battery – 2000 mAh @ 3.8V
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via battery terminals
  • Temperature Range — up to 35°C (still air)

The kit runs Ubuntu 16.04 with Robotic Operating System (ROS) Kinetic Kame, and custom software layer to allow developers to control the device using a web interface. It also supports remote desktop application, and includes evaluation versions of Intel SLAM and Person Tracking Middleware.

Euclid Camera Output: Color Stream, Depth Stream, and Fisheye Stream – Click to Enlarge

Intel RealSense SLAM Library middleware enables applications in robots and drones to understand their location and surroundings more accurately than GPS allows in GPS denied environments and inside yet unmapped spaces. You’ll find documentation about SLAM, person tracking middleware, the camera API,  RealSense SDK framework, Euclid user guide and more in Intel Euclid product page. You’ll be able to get support in RealSense forums and Euclid developer kit community, where you’ll find tutorials and example projects.

Intel Euclid Development Kit can be pre-order for $399.00 on the product page with shipping starting on May 31, 2017.

Via LinuxGizmos

HTC U11 Android Smartphone Adds “Edge Sense” Squeeze Input, Ranks Best at DxOMark Mobile Camera Benchmark

May 16th, 2017 1 comment

We’ve come so far in the smartphone market that most hardware releases are rather boring with a processor a little faster, maybe a higher resolution screen and so on, without real exciting innovations. HTC U11 does change that somewhat as the smartphone allows to interaction by squeezing the edges for example to quickly take a picture. The company calls that “Edge Sense” technology.

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HTC U11 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor @ up to 2.45 GHz
  • System Memory – 4GB / 6GB RAM
  • Storage – 64GB / 128GB flash, micro SD slot up to 2TB (shared with SIM2 slot), flex storage (aka adoptable) supported
  • Display –  5.5″ Quad HD  (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super LCD; 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • Dual nano SIM
    • 2G/2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE @ 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • 3G – UMTS @ 800/900/1900/2100 (B5/B8/B2/B1), HSDPA 42, HSUPA 5.76
    • 4G LTE – Cat 15 LTE up to 800Mbps/75 Mbps; FDD: Bands B4/B12/B17/B28/B20/B5/B8/B3/B1/B7/B32; TDD: Bands B39/B40/B38/B41; with 2CA, 3CA, 4CA Carrier Aggregation
  • Other Wireless Connectivity
    • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)
    • BlueTooth® 4.2
    • NFC
    • Streaming to Chromecast, DLNA, AirPlay, Miracast devices
    • Localization: GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
  • Camera
    • Rear – 12MP (HTC UltraPixel 3 with 1.4μm pixel), UltraSpeed Autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Dual LED flash; 4K video recording; 1080p 120 fps slow motion
    • Front-facing –  16MP camera, full HD 1080p video recording
  • Audio – HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation; HTC BoomSound™ Hi-Fi edition; 3D Audio recording with 4 microphones; Hi-Res audio stereo recording; Hi-Res audio certified
  • USB – USB 3.1 gen 1 type C connector with DisplayPort support
  • Sensors – Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub, Edge Sensor
  • Battery – 3000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support; 3G/4G talk time:  up to 24.5 hours; 3G/4G standby time: up to 14 days.
  • Dimensions – 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9, 169g
  • Ingress Protection Rating – IP67

The phone Android 7.1 with HTC Sense user interface. Beside Edge Sense, on the selling point of the smartphone is that it tops DxOMark Mobile camera benchmark with 90 points, and just ahead of Google Pixel with 89 points.

The smartphone can be pre-ordered in Blue, Black or Grey for $649 directly on HTC U11 product page, where you’ll also find a few more details.

GPU Accelerated Object Recognition on Raspberry Pi 3 & Raspberry Pi Zero

April 30th, 2017 5 comments

You’ve probably already seen one or more object recognition demos, where a system equipped with a camera detects the type of object using deep learning algorithms either locally or in the cloud. It’s for example used in autonomous cars to detect pedestrian, pets, other cars and so on. Kochi Nakamura and his team have developed software based on GoogleNet deep neural network with a a 1000-class image classification model running on Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi 3 and leveraging the VideoCore IV GPU found in Broadcom BCM283x processor in order to detect objects faster than with the CPU, more exactly about 3 times faster than using the four Cortex A53 cores in RPi 3.

They just connected a battery, a display, and the official Raspberry Pi camera to the Raspberry Pi boards to be able to recognize various objects and animals.

The first demo is with Raspberry Pi Zero.

and the second demo is on the Raspberry Pi 3 board using a better display.

Source code? Not yet, but he is thinking about it, and when/if it is released it will probably be found on his github account, where there is already py-videocore Python library for GPGPU on Raspberry Pi, which was very likely used in the demos above. They may also have used TensorFlow image recognition tutorials as a starting point, and/or instructions to install Tensorflow on Raspberry Pi.

If you are interested in Deep Learning, there’s a good list of resources with links to research papers, software framework & applications, tutorials, etc… on Github’s .

ARM Introduces Mali-C71 ISP (Image Signal Processor) for Automotive Applications

April 25th, 2017 No comments

A camera in an embedded system is normally connected to an ISP (image signal processing) block inside an SoC to handle the data coming from the sensor, and with recent cars now requiring more and more cameras for car DVRs, car parking systems, and self-driving vehicles, ARM has now unveiled Mali-C71 ISP specifically designed for automotive applications with support for 4 real-time cameras and 16 camera streams with a single pipeline.

Click to Enlarge

ARM explains that you can’t simply use smartphone cameras in automobile, as automotive requirements in terms of clarity and reliability are much more stringent. For example, Mali-C71 supports UWDR (Ultra-wide dynamic range) up to 24 stops, against 15 stops for the best DSLR cameras, which removes noise and process multiple exposures from the camera, and allows the processor/computer vision engine to detect objects such as a pedestrian, while others systems may not detect it. The image is also much clearer to the driver when displayed on a rearview mirror or other displays.

Illustration Showing Importance of UWDR. Top: Standard ISP – Bottom: Mali-C71 ISP

Mali-C71 also brings low latency and advanced error detection with more than 300 dedicated fault detection circuits to complies with automotive standards such as ISO26262, ASIL D and IEC 61508, SIL3.

Visit Mali Camera product page for more details about Mali C71 ISP.

Categories: Hardware Tags: arm, atuomotive, camera, hdr

Wandboard QuadPLUS Development Board Gets i.MX 6QuadPlus Processor, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1

April 16th, 2017 13 comments

The first Wandboard development boards launched in 2012 nearly 5 years ago based on Freescale i.MX6 Solo and Dual processor, with Wandboard Quad launched a few months later. The boards were fairly popular at the time due to their better specifications, and especially Freescale’s much better documentation and software compared to the competition such as Broadcom (Raspberry Pi) and Allwinner (Cubieboard). Since the boards are based on TechNexion EDM system-on-modules they could also be used by companies working on their own products based on the system-on-module. It’s also a good platform if you want to test various version of Android, because the company released Jelly Bean, Kitkat, Lollipop, and Marshmallow images for the boards, and I’m expecting a Lollipop version soon.

However, albeit the company worked on other NXP boards such as PICO-IM6UL Android Things, there had not been any hardware upgrade for Wandboard for nearly 4 years, but last month Wandboard QuadPLUS was released with NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus processor boasting a faster GC2000+ GPU, an upgrade to 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, the addition of a power management IC, and a fix for HDMI EDID + CEC.

Wandboard QuadPLUS without Heatsink – Click to Enlarge

Wandboard QuadPLUS board specifications:

  • SoC – NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus quad core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz + Vivante GC2000+ 3D GPU + Vivante GC355 + Vivante GC320 2D compositor
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM
  • Storage – 2x micro SD card slot + SATA connector
  • Video Output – HDMI with CEC
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, S/PDIF (optical), 3x 3.5mm jacks for Line In, Line Out, and Mic In.
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Atheros AR8035) + Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.1 (Broadcom BCM4339)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, + 1x mini USB OTG port
  • Debug – 1x RS232 port; UART & JTAG via through holes
  • Expansion Headers
    • 4x 20-pin headers with GPIO, I²C, PWM, SATA, SPI, UART…
    • 4-lane MIPI CSI connector
  • Power Supply – 5V DC via power barrel (5.5/2.1mm) ; NXP MMPF0100 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 95 mm x 95 mm
  • Weight – 100 grams

Beside Android, the board can also run Ubuntu, and Linux built with the Yocto Project. The company also introduced an official camera module for the board with CAM-OV5645 module based on Omnivision OV5645, and supported in Linux 4.1.15 and greater.

Wandboard QuadPLUS is sold for $139, CAM-OV5645 camera module for $25 directly on TechNexion website. The price of older boards have also been reduced by $10. You’ll find more details on Wandboard.org with firmware and source code downloads, a Wiki page, and forums, but most information has not been updated to include QuadPLUS board.

Thanks to Fran for the tip.

That USB Stick Looks Suspicious! Camera, Microphone and Battery Included.

April 6th, 2017 5 comments

I had previously read about USB flash drives dropped on the parking with some malware, so that if you pick it up and use it it infects your computer in order to spy on your activity. But I browser new arrivals on DealExtreme, I found another nefarious use case thanks to U8 Mini USB drive / spy camera sold for around $10 shipped. If we look the picture below, it looks just like any other USB flash drives.But once we have a closer look at U8 mini specifications:

  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 male port
  • Storage – micro SD slot up to 32GB (no internal storage)
  • Camera
    • Video up to 720 x 480 @ 25~30fps recording to AVI/M-JPEG
    • Photo up to 1280×1024 in JPG format
  • Audio recording with built-in microphone
  • Misc – Motion detection camera button, power button, picture button, status LED
  • Battery – 300 mAh good for about 60 minutes of… spying.

It’s clear what the purpose is.

It may have just landed in a new arrivals feed, and I had never heard about such device, but it’s been around for at least 5 years, as several people reviewed it in 2012.

The photo and video quality is poor, and motion detection is not working well (at least in the 2012 model), but apart from that it does the job.

Categories: Hardware Tags: camera, usb

Alcatel Flash Android Smartphone Comes with 4 Cameras (Dual front, Dual rear Cameras)

April 5th, 2017 1 comment

In recent years, we’ve seen smartphones with dual camera systems most of the time placed on the rear side of the phone, but Alcatel Flash smartphone features both  a dual front-facing camera for better selfies, and a dual rear camera, both coming with one color and one monochrome sensors.

Alcatel Flash specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek Helipo X20 (MT6797) deca-core processor with 2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.9 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4 GHz
  • System Memory – 3GB RAM
  • Storage – 32GB flash, micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Display – 5.5” IPS display; 1920×1080 resolution; Dragontrail Glass; fingerprint-resistant Oleophobic coating
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • GPRS/EDGE –  850/900/1800/1900 MHz
    • UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA –  850/900/1900/2100 MHz 34/39 band
    • LTE – FDD: B1/3/5/7/8/20; TDD: 38/39/40/41
    • Dual Nano SIM Dual Standby
  • Wireless Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS with A-GPS/Glonass/Beidou
  • Cameras
    • Dual rear cameras
      • Dual 13MP Mono+RGB, Sony IMX258
      • 1/3.06 sensor size; 1.12μm pixel size
      • F2.0 (RGB) / F2.0 (Mono) aperture size
      • PDAF 0.15s focus speed; manual focus mode available
      • 6P lens optics with sapphire crystal lens cover
      • Dual color LED flash
      • Video recording: [email protected], [email protected]
    • Dual front-facing cameras
      • 8MP + 5MP
      • 6P Lens optic
      • Dual F2.0; Dual Tone Flash
      • Close Loop With PDAF
  • USB – 1x USB type C OTG port
  • Sensors – Fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer (G sensor), proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, e-Compass, Gyro, Hall Switch, Handsfree, vibrator
  • Misc – Volume and power buttons, fingerprint scanner
  • Battery – Non-removable 3,100 mAh battery good for 5.3hrs to 20hrs (3G) of talk time, 415 to 466 hours (4G) in standby
  • Dimensions – 152.6 x 75.4 x 8.7mm
  • Weight – 155g

The phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The dual cameras will allow you to create effects between background and foreground parts of the photos.

You’ll find more details on Alcatel Saudi Arabia Flash product page. I could not find any pricing info yet, but it looks like it might be already sold in some shops in the Middle East.

Via Liliputing and Gizchina

ArcherMind Mediatek X20 Pro Development Board Adds 3G, 4G LTE and More I/Os

March 28th, 2017 3 comments

Archermind launched Mediatek X20 board powered by Mediatek Helio X20 deca-core processor, and compliant with 96Boards CE hardware specifications last year for $199. The company has now been working on a “professional” version, dubbed Mediatek X20 Pro that adds supports for 3G and 4G / LTE, as well as extra I/O connectors for cameras, LCD modules, and an RF baseboard.

Alpha Star Mediatek X20 Pro board specifications:

  • SoC – Mediatek Helio X20 (MT6797) deca-core processor with two ARM Cortex A72 cores @ 2.1~2.3 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.85 GHz, four Cortex A53 @ 1.4 GHz, and  ARM Mali-T880 GPU @ 700 MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 2-ch @ 933 MHz
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC 5.1 flash + micro SD 3.0 card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p @ 30 fps
  • Video Support – 25MP @ 24fps / 25MP @ 30 fps; WQXGA 2560×1600 60fps; FHD 1920×1080 120fps; 4Kx2K 30fps H.265 w/HDR
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 (MT6631), GPS with antenna connector
  • Cellular Connectivity – Modem with support for WCDMA B1/B8, FDD-LTE B1/B3,TDD-LTE B38/B39/B40
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (device only).
  • Expansion:
    • 1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, 2x I2C, 12x GPIO, DC power
    • 1x 60 pin high speed expansion connector – 4L-MIPI DSI, USB, 2x I2C, 2L+4LMIPI CSI
    • IO extended interface – Support one 2k LCM or two 1080P LCM, 13M+13M dual camera
    • Optional 16-pin analog expansion connector – Stereo headset/line out, speaker, analog line-in, and more
    • 2x connectors on the bottom of the board for RF sub-board
  • Misc – Power, reset and volume buttons. 6 LEDS (4x user, 1x Wifi, 1x Bluetooth)
  • Power Supply – 8 to 18V DC input
  • Dimensions – 85 x 54 mm

The board only supports Android 6.0, with Linux support depending on what Mediatek decides to do. You’ll find some hardware and software document on the Wiki which still has many non-working links…, and none of them seem related to the Pro version yet.

If you want to use 3G or 4G cellular , you’ll need to get  “Mediatek X20 RF sub-board” that connects to X20 board via two board-to-board connectors with the following key features:

  • Modem Features – World-mode Modem with Single RF for all Markets
    • FDD/TDD LTE R11 Cat-6 (300Mbps/50Mbps) with 2x20MHz DL carrier aggregation support
    • HSPA+ R8 (42Mbps/11Mbps) / TD-SCDMA Rel.7 (2.8/2.2 Mbps)
    • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rel.A, SRLTE support
  • Transceiver Features
    • Transmitter – Direct conversion(LTE/3G/8PSK) and DFM for GMSK; Dedicated power detection circuits for power control over specific power range; 4LB/4MB/2HB TX output port
    • Receiver – Hybrid direct-conversion(4G/3G/C2K) /low-IF (GGE, DC-HSDPA) receiver; 14+14 RX input ports; 4 RXIF IQ outputs
  • RF Board Band Support – WCDMA band 1,8; TDD-LTE band 38,39,40; FDD-LTE band 1,3
  • Dimensions – 100 x 71 mm

Charbax interviewed the company at Linaro Connect Budapest 2017 where they showcased their new X20 Pro board and corresponding add-on boards, as well as the upcoming Mstar Altra board compliant with 96Boards TV Platforms specs (7:48 mark in video) based on Mstar MSD6A838 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 SoC with 4K M-Genuine Video Engine supporting Motion Estimation/Motion Compensation (MEMC), HDR, color enhance, de-noise, and so on.


It’s unclear whether Mediatek X20 Pro is available now, and we don’t know the price yet, but considering the non-pro version sells for $200, we could probably expect the 4G version to sell between $250 to $300 with the RF baseboard and SIM card adapter board. Some more information is available on the product page.