Today we announced our latest connectivity solution, the ‘CAM I/F’ camera interface solution for Texas Instruments Sitara line of processors. Sitara is a lower-cost line of processors aimed for markets such as mobile enterprise, portable consumer, industrial tablet and industrial smartphone markets.
As with all products, design trade-offs need to be made by makers of processors. Sometimes they do not have all the connectivity needed for specific end markets. This is one area QuickLogic can provide solutions that can help extend the reach of Application processors. In this case of AM335x from TI, QuickLogic provided a CAM I/F through the processors GPMC. This allows an OEM to connect the camera sensor using a parallel CAM I/F instead of a USB camera. This may not seem like much on the surface…but take this into consideration: often every USB port is occupied by other peripherals in the host system. This leaves the system designer without the ability to readily interface a camera into their system. Without that camera interface, a system designer is faced with the option of either not including a camera (likely not a possibility), or potentially switching processors to either another (potentially more expensive) model or even another manufacturer. With the CAMI/F design, the system designer is assured of a readily-available solution for interfacing up to a 5 Megapixel camera into his/her system (and doing so at a lot lower power!).
Going beyond just simply having the CAMI/F solution available on our PolarPro CSSP silicon device, we’ve also created a reference design for OEMs. We’ve engaged with BeagleBoard.org in a design for their BeagleBone platform. The BeagleBone platform is a reference design for OEMs who are evaluating using a Sitara platform. BeagleBone is designed to be highly flexible, including the addition of what they call ‘Capes’, which are add-on boards for additional functionality. We’re proud that the camera cape for BeagleBone includes a QuickLogic CSSP device with CAMI/F that connects a camera (in this case, from Aptina, a company known well by others in Marketing here) to the Sitara processor on the BeagleBone through the GPMC.
The BeagleBone camera cape is proof-positive that CAMI/F is not only a solution which works, but a solution that has already been tested, validated, and adopted by a third-party.
In many ways, the CAMI/F is the ideal CSSP. We address an urgent need of customers (they use all the existing USB ports on a processor, plus the need for a camera) and processor vendors (the need for alternative camera interfaces to address the needs of their customers).
Both the CSSP solution and the camera cape are available for immediate sampling. See more on CAM I/F here: BeagleBone Camera Cape
Finally, look for an additional blog from our VP of Marketing later this week.