Olimex OSHW Allwinner S3 IP Camera Board in the Works – Feedback & Suggestions Welcomed

Allwinner S3 Arm Cortex-A7 processor is designed for dual-camera systems and embeds 128MB RAM. It looks to be an evolution of the older Allwinner V3s chip that came with 64MB RAM and is software-compatible with the older camera SoC.

We reported about the new processor and an Allwinner S3 development board last year, but Olimex has started working on an open-source hardware IP camera board based on the processor and is asking for feedback from customers and the community at large.

Preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner S3 Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz with 128MB DDR3 RAM at 1333 MHz
  • Storage -MicroSD card slot, configuration EEPROM, optional NAND/eMMC/SPI Flash on socket
  • Camera I/F
    • MIPI camera connector with RPi pinout
    • Parallel CSI camera connector
  • Display – LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino 4.3″ to 15.6″ displays
  • Audio – Audio in and out via 3.5mm audio jacks
  • Connectivity
    • Fast Ethernet with PoE option
    • WiFi / BT module with RTL8723BS
  • Expansion – UEXT connector
  • Misc – Buttons
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via Micro USB port
    • Lipo battery connector
    • AXP209 PMU with Lipo charger and step-up for UPS
  • Dimensions – 60 x 50 mm

The Allwinner S3 IP camera board could also find potential uses for VoIP, Video over IP,  security,  home remote monitoring, and more.

The KiCAD schematics, 3D  rendering, and S3 datasheet can already be found on Github. Some suggestions from the community already include infrared camera support, exposing I2S pin on headers, dual-band WiFi options, industrial grade, and more.

It should be noted the Allwinner Linux SDK for the chip was made in 2012 and relies on Linux 3.4 with a lot of it being closed source. There’s mainline support for the chip with working H.264 decode and parallel CSI camera support working,  but H.264 encode, the ISP and MIPI are not supported in mainline. There are already some discussions about subcontracting Bootlin for the work.

If you have suggestions and/or would like to get involved/help with mainline support, you can provide your feedback in the comments section of Olimex’s blog post.

Thanks to Jon for the tip.

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