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Posts Tagged ‘camera’

Banana Pi M2 Magic Board Now Sold with Allwinner A33 Processor for $23

October 20th, 2017 12 comments

Banana Pi M2 Magic development board was first unveiled in February of this year with an Allwinner R16 SoC, 512 MB RAM, and 8GB eMMC flash, and its main selling points were support for MIPI DSI LCD displays, CSI cameras, and 3.7V LiPo batteries. AFAIK SinoVoIP never sold that version of the board, at least on Aliexpress.

Possibly due to the intricacies of Allwinner business units, the company has now officially launched Banana Pi M2 Magic (aka BPI M2M), but replaced Allwinner R16 by the similar Allwinner A33 processor, and removed the 8GB eMMC flash to bring the price down to $23 plus shipping. The “old” Allwinner R16 based Banana Pi M2 Magic board will apparently be sold as M2 Magic Plus soon.

Banana Pi BPI-M2 Magic (A33) specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner A33 quad core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with ARM Mali 400 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Display Interface – 4-lane MIPI DSI connector
  • Camera Interface – CSI connector supporting up to 5MP sensor, 1080p30 H.265 video capture (OV5640 module)
  • Video Decoder – Multi-format FHD video decoding, including Mpeg1/2, Mpeg4, H.263, H.264, etc H.264 high profile [email protected]
  • Audio – On-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Wifi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (AP6212) with u.FL antenna connector
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Expansion – 40-pin header with GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM…
  • Misc – Reset & power buttons, LEDs,
  • Power Supply
    • 5V/2A via DC power barrel
    • 3.7V Lithium battery support via 6-pin header
    • AXP223 PMIC
  • Dimensions – 51 x 51 mm
  • Weight – 40 grams

The Wiki indicates the board support Android and Linux, and provides some further information about the interface. Bear in mind SinoVoIP is often not quite fully correct, so make sure to double check if one of the feature is important to you.

Google Pixel Visual Core is a Custom Designed Co-Processor for Smartphone Cameras

October 18th, 2017 1 comment

Google unveiled their latest Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL premium smartphones powered by Snapdragon 835 SoC earlier this month, and while they are expected to go on sale tomorrow, reviewers have got their hands on samples, and one of the key feature is the camera that takes really good photos and videos as reported here and there.

You’d think the ISP and DSP inside Snapdragon 835 SoC would handle any sort of processing required to take photos. But apparently that was not enough, as Google decided to design their own custom co-processor – called Pixel Visual Core -, and integrated it into Pixel 2 phones.

The co-processor features a Cortex A53 core, an LPDDR4 memory interface, PCIe interface and MIPI CSI interface, as well as an image processing unit (IPU) IO block with 8 IPU cores. Google explains the IPU block will allow 3rd party applications to leverage features like low latency HDR+ photography, where the camera takes photos with different exposure very quickly, and “juxtapose” them to provide the best possible photo.

Each IPU core includes 512 arithmetic logic units (ALUs), and the IPU delivers more than 3 TOPS (trillion operations per second) on a mobile power budget. Pixel Visual Core allows HDR+ to run 5x faster using a tenth of energy required by running the algorithm on the application processor (AP). Programming is done using domain-specific languages: Halide for image processing and TensorFlow for machine learning, and a Google-made compiler optimizes the code for the hardware.

Pixel Visual Core will be accessible as a developer option in the developer preview of Android Oreo 8.1 (MR1), before being enabled for any apps using the Android Camera API.

Dragonwally is a Stereoscopic Computer Vision Mezzanine for 96Boards CE Boards

October 11th, 2017 No comments

Hardware based on 96Boards specifications may not have the number of sales as Raspberry Pi or Orange Pi boards, but there’s heavily used by Linaro member and other developer working on bleeding edge software. More and more companies are designing boards compliant with the standard, and several new mezzanine expansion boards such as Secure96, were showcased at Linaro Connect SFO 2017, and are yet to be show up on 96Boards Mezzanine page.

Another 96Boards mezzanine expansion board in development is Dragonwally, designed for stereoscopic computer vision, currently used with DragonBoard 410c board, and targetting applications such as object recognition,  people counting, access control, or driver identification and safety.

DragonWally DW0 board specifications:

  • MIPI DSI interface with high speed connector
  • 2x 5MP cameras
  • 1x USB port
  • 96Boards CE compliant

The two Brazilian developers working on the project interfaced it with DragonBoard 410c running Linaro Debian, and using OpenCV and Python for computer vision development. To demonstrate the capability of the board, they added a touchscreen display for a demo leveraging Amazon Rekognition API for face recognition and camera distance estimation.

DragonWally board does not seem available yet, nor the source code for the demo above. If you’d like more information, visit DragonWally website, or join 96Boards OpenHours #74 tomorrow.

NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus Platform is Designed for Fully Autonomous Vehicles

October 11th, 2017 1 comment

Many companies are now involved in the quest to develop self-driving cars, and getting there step by step with 6 levels of autonomous driving defined based on info from  Wikipedia:

  • Level 0 – Automated system issues warnings but has no vehicle control.
  • Level 1 (”hands on”) – Driver and automated system shares control over the vehicle. Examples include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Parking Assistance, and Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II.
  • Level 2 (”hands off”) – The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering), but the driver is still expected to monitor the driving, and be prepared to immediately intervene at any time. You’ll actually have your hands on the steering wheel, just in case…
  • Level 3 (”eyes off”) – The driver can safely turn their attention away from the driving tasks, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie. The system may ask the driver to take over in some situations specified by the manufacturer such as traffic jams. So no sleeping while driving 🙂 . The Audi A8 Luxury Sedan was the first commercial car to claim to be able to do level 3 self driving.
  • Level 4 (”mind off”) – Similar to level 3, but no driver attention is ever required. You could sleep while the car is driving, or even send the car somewhere without your being in the driver seat. There’s a limitation at this level, as self-driving mode is limited to certain areas, or special circumstances. Outside of these areas or circumstances, the vehicle must be able to safely park the car, if the driver does not retake control.
  • Level 5 (”steering wheel optional”) – Fully autonomous car with no human intervention required, no other limitations

So the goal is obviously to reach level 5, which would allow robotaxis, or safely drive you home whatever your alcohol or THC blood levels. This however requires lots of redundant (for safety) computing power, and current autonomous vehicle prototypes have a trunk full of computing equipments.

NVIDIA has condensed the A.I processing power required  or level 5 autonomous driving into DRIVE PX Pegasus AI computer that’s roughly the size of a license plate, and capable of handling inputs from high-resolution 360-degree surround cameras and lidars, localizing the vehicle within centimeter accuracy, tracking vehicles and people around the car, and planning a safe and comfortable path to the destination.

The computer comes with four A.I processors said to be delivering 320 TOPS (trillion operations per second) of computing power, ten times faster than NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2, or about the performance of a 100-server data center according to Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO. Specifically, the board combines two NVIDIA Xavier SoCs and two “next generation” GPUs with hardware accelerated deep learning and computer vision algorithms. Pegasus is designed for ASIL D certification with automotive inputs/outputs, including CAN bus, Flexray, 16 dedicated high-speed sensor inputs for camera, radar, lidar and ultrasonics, plus multiple 10Gbit Ethernet

Machine learning works in two steps with training on the most powerful hardware you can find, and inferencing done on cheaper hardware, and for autonomous driving, data scientists train their deep neural networks NVIDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputer, for example being able to simulate driving 300,000 miles in five hours by harnessing 8 NVIDIA DGX systems. Once trained is completed, the models can be updated over the air to NVIDIA DRIVE PX platforms where inferencing takes place. The process can be repeated regularly so that the system is always up to date.

NVIDIA DRIVE PX Pegasus will be available to NVIDIA automotive partners in H2 2018, together with NVIDIA DRIVE IX (intelligent experience) SDK, meaning level 5 autonomous driving cars, taxis and trucks based on the solution could become available in a few years.

Google Clips is an A.I. Camera Powered by Movidius Myriad 2 VPU

October 5th, 2017 No comments

Most consumer cameras offers some ways for the photographer to check the framing of the picture, such as a viewfinder or LCD display, before pressing the button. The first time I saw a consumer camera without such features was with MeCam, a tiny snap-on camera that you can wear on your shirt, and just press a button to take a picture. Convenient, but no ideal as subjects were often out of frame with the camera pointing at the wrong angle.

That was in 2013. But today, those cameras can be improved with artificial intelligence, and Google Clips is a camera without viewfinder nor LCD display that can allegedly take good photos – or short clips – automatically, acting in some ways like a human photographer, so that every human in the room / the whole family can be on the shot.

Google Clips specifications:

  • Vision Processing Unit – Movidius Myriad 2 VPU as found in Intel Movidus Neural Compute Stick
  • Storage – 16 GB for photos
  • Camera
    • TBD?? megapixels; 1.55μm pixels;  130° field of view; auto focus; auto low lux/night mode.
    • Motion photos (JPEGs with embedded MP4s) @ 15 fps, MP4, GIF, JPEG. No audio.
  • Connectivity – WiFi direct and Bluetooth LE
  • USB – 1x USB type C port for charging
  • Battery – Good for 3 hours of smart capture
  • Dimensions – 49 x 49 x 20 mm
  • Weight – 42.2 grams without clip, 60.5 grams with clip

The camera works with Google Clips app for “compatible mobile devices” running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher, such as Google Pixel, or Galaxy S7/S8, or iOS devices starting from iPhone 6. Google Clips will ship with a clip stand, a USB-C to USB-A cable, a quick start guide, and a user guide.

Google Clips will sell for $249, and if you’re interested you can join the waiting list on the product page.

Google Introduces Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Smartphones running Android 8.0 on Snapdragon 835 SoC

October 5th, 2017 2 comments

When Google introduced Nexus brand, it aimed to provide affordable yet decently spec’d Android smartphone. The Nexus has now been deprecated, Google left the low/mid range market, leaving other fills the void, and instead launch the Pixel brand for premium devices.

The company announced several new hardware devices yesterday, including two new Pixel smartphones: Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, both powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and running the latest Android 8.0 Oreo.

Pixel 2

Both phones share most of the same specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 4x Kryo 280 “performance” cores @ 2.35GHz, 4x Kryo 280 “efficiency” cores @ 1.90GHz, Adreno 540 GPU, security module
  • System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4x
  • Storage – 64GB or 128GB flash
  • Display
    • Pixel 2 – 5.0″ always-on AMOLED display with 1920×1080 resolution (16:9 aspect ratio); 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
    • Pixel 2 XL – 6.0″ always-on pOLED display with 2880×1440 resolution (18:9 aspect ratio) ; 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Cellular Connectivity
    • Built-in eSIM chip+ single Nano SIM slot
    • GSM/EDGE: Quad-band (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
    • UMTS/HSPA+/HSDPA: Bands 1/2/4/5/8
    • CDMA EVDO Rev A: BC0/BC1/BC10
    • FDD-LTE : Bands 1*/2*/3*/4*/5/7*/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66*; TD-LTE: Bands 38*/40/41; * = bands that support 4×4 MIMO
    • Supports up to CAT 15 (800Mbps DL / 75Mbps UL), 3x DL CA, 4×4 MIMO, 256-QAM DL and 64-QAM UL depending on carrier support
  • Other Wireless Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi, Bluetooth 5 + LE, NFC, GPS + GLONASS
  • Camera – 12.2 MP rear camera with auto-focus, OIS and EIS, up to 4K @ 30fps / 720p @ 240 fps video recording; 8MP front-facing camera up to 1080p30 video recording
  • USB – 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 type C port (Google did not bother mentioning about data or DisplayPort support)
  • Sensors – Active Edge, Proximity / Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer / Gyrometer, Magnetometer, Pixel Imprint(Back-mounted fingerprint sensor), Barometer, Hall effect sensor, Android Sensor Hub, advanced x-axis haptics for sharper/defined response
  • Battery
    • Pixel 2 – 2,700 mAh battery with up to 7 hours of go with a 15-minute charge
    • Pixel 2 XL – 3,520 mAh battery with up to 7 hours of go with a 15-minute charge
  • Dimensions / Weight
    • Pixel 2 – 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8 mm / 143 grams
    • Pixel 2 XL – 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm / 175 grams
  • Case – Aluminum unibody with hybrid coating, IP67 ingress protection rating

The phone come with a USB-C charger, a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter (since no 3.5mm audio jack), a quick start guide, and a quick switch adapter. Not too many new things here, except for the embedded SIM (eSIM) that was never used in a phone previously and to initially work with Project Fi, Active Edge (squeeze your phone to start Google Assistant, similar to HTC Edge Sense), and the not-so-common pOLED (Plastic OLED) display found in the XL version. The camera must be really good through, as DxOMark rated the Pixel 2 camera with a score of 98, making it the best mobile camera so far. Google further explains that the camera leverages computational photography and machine learning (ML) capabilities.

Pixel 2 XL

Software and support is probably what make the phones stand part, with the latest Android 8.0 OS from Google, including “an exclusive preview of Google Lens”, which will automatically be able to recognize objects, landmarks, books, movies, etc… scan business cards to adds them to contact list, etc… The company also boasts improvement with Google Assistant, which can now start by squeezing the edges of your phone, and has become smarter with more features such as routines like “good night” to turn off light, set alarms. and put your phone to sleep.

Google Pixel 2 will sell for $649 or $749 with respectively 64 GB or 128GB storage, and Pixel 2 XL for $849 or $949. Visit Google Phones page for further details.

Wanscam HW0026 720p IP Camera Goes for $9.99 (Promo)

September 18th, 2017 16 comments

Wanscam HW0026 is a 720p IP camera with night vision, motion detection, and ONVIF 2.1 support that was launched in 2015, although they seem to have updated the model since then. GearBest now has a promotion for the US version of the camera for just $9.99 shipped. The version with the EU plug is sold for $15 shipped without any deep discount.


Wanscam HW0026 IP camera features and specifications:

  • Camera
    • 720P HD resolution, 1.0MP 1/4 inch CMOS sensor, 1 – 25fps adjustable frame rate
    • 90 degree wide angle FOV, 3.6mm lens
    • Supports 10 LEDs for night vision with infrared distance up to 10m
    • Motion detection up to 10 – 15m
    • Video – H.264 codec, AVI container, NTSC or PAL standard.
  • Storage – micro SD card up to 64 GB
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
    • Protocols – DDNS, DHCP, FTP, LAN, P2P, RTSP, TCP, UPNP
  • Audio – Built-in mic and speaker, supports two-way intercom
  • Power Supply – 5V / 1A
  • Dimensions – 11.70 cm x 8 cm x 8 cm
  • Weight – 104 grams

The camera can be controlled from web browsers in desktop OS like Mac OS, Windows, or Linux, as well as Android or iOS smartphones using E-view 7 app. It ships with an English user manual, an accessories kit and a power adapter. I could not find custom open source firmware, or specific hacks for the camera, but since it’s compliant with ONVIF 2.1, it should be compatible with third party programs like Xenoma, and NAS with support for surveillance cameras. The old model was based on Hisilicon Hi3518E processor, but the new version appears to be based on Ingenic T10 MIPS processor.

Thanks to Ivo for the tip

$99 Inforce IFC6420 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600E Board Comes with 3 HDMI Out/In Ports

September 11th, 2017 3 comments

Inforce Computing has introduced the first board of their “Application Ready Platforms” family with Inforce 6420 SBC powered by Qualcomm Snpadragon 600 / 600E processor, and equipped with three HDMI ports including one HDMI input, and two independent HDMI outputs making suitable for products needing streaming, content sharing or rendering on multiple displays. The board also comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, etc… for “edge computing in the IoT space”.

Click to Enlarge

Inforce 6420 board specifications:

  • SoC –  Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 / 600E (APQ8064 / APQ8064E)  quad core Krait 300 CPU @ up to 1.7 GHz with Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU, and Hexagon DSP
  • System Memory – 2GB on-board DDR3 (PCDDR3-533MHz)
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC flash (expandable to 64GB)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet via Atheros8151, dual band dual stream 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 via QCA6234
  • Video – 2x HDMI 1.4a outputs up to 1080p, 1x HDMI input up to 1080p
  • Audio – WCD9311 audio codec; 8-channel 7.1 surround sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, and DTS-HD via HDMI-out
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – Via USB 2.0 port or/and HDMI input
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A (typ.)
  • Dimensions – 160 mm x 70 mm
  • Temperature Range – 0-70° C
  • RoHS and WEEE compliant

The board comes pre-loaded with Android Lollipop 5.1.1, and the company provide a board support package (BSP) for development. Linux support based on an Open embedded is in progress. The solution is destined to be used for video collaboration, medical applications such as remote diagnosis & treatment, video capture, and smart boards.

Inforce Computing commits to supply Inforce 6420 board for at least 10 years, and you can purchase samples directly on their website for $99. Further information can be found on the product page.