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Posts Tagged ‘camera’

GR-LYCHEE Development Board to Combine Renesas RZ/A1LU Processor, ESP32 Module, and a VGA Camera

June 23rd, 2017 6 comments

Japanese semiconductor vendors have mostly stayed away from the maker market, at least outside Japan, as most people would be hard-pressed to come up with a hobbyist development board powered by processor or micro-controller from Toshiba, Sony, Renesas or other Japanese companies, despite the three aforementioned names being in the top 20 semiconductors companies. I can only remember having written about Fujitsu F-Cue 96Boards, as well as Renesas GR-PEACH mbed board since I started this blog 7 years ago. Renesas seems to be the only company to have a real community behind with their “Gadget Renesas” pink-colored development boards, and the latest and seventh board is GR-LYCHEE powered by Renesas RZ/A1LU ARM Cortex-A9  processor, and equipped with a WiFi & Bluetooth module, and a camera.

GR-LYCHEE Prototype – Click to Enlarge

Renesas GR-LYCHEE board preliminary specifications:

  • Micro-processor – Renesas RZ / A1LU (R7S721030VCFP 176-pin QFP) ARM Cortex-A9 Processor  @ 384 MHz with 3MB on-chip SRAM
  • Storage – 8 MB flash+ micro SD card
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE via ESP32 wireless module
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack (heaphone + mic)
  • USB – 1x USB host port
  • Camera – 1x camera interface for VGA (640×480) camera
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO headers
  • Debugging & Programming – 1x micro USB port, JTAG interface
  • Misc – 32.768 Hz RTC clock, 2x user buttons, reset button, 4x user LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via 1x micro USB port; operating voltage: 3.3 V / 1.18 V

The board is mbed compatible so at launch you’ll be able to use the mbed compiler with the board. The board is still in beta version, documentation is still being worked on, and launch is scheduled for the end of November 2017. While most Gadget Renesas’ users are likely in Japan, Renesas also organized events in India, ASEAN, and Oceania with GR-PEACH board earlier this year as you’ll find out by visiting the community’s English page.

Documentation and more details about GR-LYCHEE board should eventually surface in the product page (in Japanese only for now).

HD3S Android-on-TV Box with HD Webcam is Powered by Amlogic S905X Processor

June 16th, 2017 No comments

What I call “Android-on-TV” boxes are some sort of TV boxes, usually with a webcam, that are meant to be placed on top of the TV instead of on the furniture, and apart from being used to watch videos like other TV boxes, are also well-suited for videoconference over Skype or Google Hangout. Over the years. we’ve had a few of those products such as  HD23 TV box, but recently I don’t recall having seen new Android-on-TV boxes. That’s until today, and I found out about HD3S TV box running Android 6.0 on Amlogic S905X processor.

HD3S specifications:

  • SoC –  Amlogic S905X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz with a penta-core Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot up to 64GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz, and AV port (composite video)
  • Audio – Output via HDMI, and AV port (stereo audio); dual speaker and built-in dual microphone (up to 3 meters range)
  • Video Codecs – 4K VP9 @ 60 fps, 4K 10-bit H.265 @ 60 fps, 4K H.264 up to 30 fps
  • Webcam – 1.0 MP webcam up to 720p (Omnivision OV9712 sensor)
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz only), and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver, WiFi and camera status LED
  • Power Supply –  5V/2A
  • Dimensions- 210 mm (L) x 52 mm (D) x 54 mm (thickness)

The box ships with an AC adapter, a HDMI cable, an IR remote control, and a user guide.

HD23S can be purchased on Aliexpress for $119.99 including shipping. The price is quite steep considering you could achieve pretty much the same with a low-end Amlogic S905X TV box (<$30), and a USB webcam ($5). Having said that, there are sometimes compatibility issues with Skype and Hangout in TV boxes, and we’d hope those would have been tested in HD23S. I could only find one seller, so price may come down over time. I also tried to look for the manufacturer, but all I could find was Sumhen on Alibaba, a company that resells products from various manufacturers.

Via AndroidPC.es

RAK WisCam is a $20 Arduino Compatible WiFi Camera Linux Board Powered by Nuvoton N32905 ARM9 Processor

May 23rd, 2017 10 comments

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Rakwireless’ RAK CREATOR Pro development board based on Realtek Ameba RTL8711AM Wireless MCU, and part of their Wiskey family of development boards. Sub-family include WisNode for IoT boards, WisAP for OpenWrt boards, WisPLC for PLC hardware, and WisCam for WiFi video camera boards. The company has recently introduced Wiscam RAK5281 Arduino compatible Linux board powered by a Nuvoton ARM9 MCU, and supporting a camera module or an SD card + USB module.

Click to Enlarge

RAK WisCam specifications:

  • SoC –  Nuvoton N32905R3DN ARM926EJ processor @ 200 MHz with 8KB internal SRAM, 16KB IBR internal booting ROM, 16Mbit  x16  DDR2 memory
  • Storage – 128 MBit SPI flash, included sub-module adds micro SD card
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi via Realtek RTL8189FTV module
  • Camera via sub-module
    • 648×488 pixel VGA CMOS Image Sensor (GC0308); 102° FOV
    • Video –  QVGA (320×240) 30FPS, VGA(640×480) 30FPS, MJPEG encoding
    • Photo – JPEG, 16 bits/pixel – RGB565, 32bits/pixel – ARGB8888
  • Audio – 16-bit stereo DAC; built-in microphone, speaker header
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming, USB 2.0 port via sub-module
  • Expansion – Arduino UNO compatible headers with PWM, I2C, GPIO, ADC, UART, I2S, USB2.0 HS (High-Speed)
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – 55.61mm x 55.88mm

Click to Enlarge

The board runs Linux, and support both USB UVC mode (like most webcam), and video streaming in Android, iOS, or Windows app using RTSP or Nabto P2P cloud server running on the board.  Wiscam board appears to share most of the same components as Nuvoton NuWiCam development board, so software and apps for it may also be compatible. Wiscam documentation is available in the Wiki, and hardware design files such as Altium schematics and PCB layout, as well as source code for board and mobile apps, and datasheets can be found in Github. For some reasons, they shared some of the files in a compress archivve files in github, instead of using the revision control system. Another downside, but common to most ARM9 “IP camera” SoCs, is that the board runs an ancient Linux 2.6.35 kernel.

Some has already done a short video review with the board.

RAKwireless is a startup company, but their WiFi video camera solutions are also being used in products such as Waggle 3D printer remote controller. They seem to be quite responsive, and if you have questions or remarks, they’ll certainly reply to your comments here or by emails.

RAK Wiscam board is sold on Aliexpress for $19.90 + shipping ($3.75 in my case)

$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.

Click to Enlarge

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.