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Cortex-A8 module gets camera upgrade

Jul 12, 2010 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

E-con Systems has announced a five-megapixel camera add-on designed to work with Linux and the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM). The e-CAM50_OMAP35x snaps onto the EVM board and connects to the OMAP35x's high-speed CMOS sensor interface, providing 720p video capture as well as stills, the company says.

E-con, which has produced e-CAM modules for a variety of platforms — most recently the Gumstix Overo — is once again targeting the OMAP35x EVM, produced for TI by Mistral (see later in this story for details). The company launched a 3.2 megapixel camera module known as the OV5642 CMOS image sensor, allowing not only the capture of five megapixel stills, but also 720p video at up to 30 frames per second, according to E-con. Video frame rates increase to 55 per second for VGA resolution, and 120 per second for QVGA, the company adds.


The e-CAM50_OMAP35x mounted on the OMAP35x EVM

Like the previous e-CAM32_OMAP35x, the e-CAM50_OMAP35x is designed to snap onto the OMAP35x EVM's expansion connector, says E-con. The bottom of the EVM is pictured above with E-con's camera daughterboard in place, the Omnivision sensor module being visible at the very center of the image.

Background

The TI OMAP35x EVM, designed by Mistral Solutions and marketed by TI, supports the chipmaker's Cortex A8-based OMAP3530, a top model in the OMAP35x product line (below).


TI's OMAP35x product line
(Click to enlarge)

The OMAP35x was originally based on a 600MHz Cortex-A8 core. Last September, however, TI began shipping its OMAP3530 Rev E, which clocks the ARM Cortex-A8 core at 720MHz instead of 600MHz. The SoC's TMS320C64x+ DSP (digital signal processor) moves from 430MHz to 520MHz, the chipmaker adds.

Concurrent with this, TI upgraded the Mistral-produced OMAP35x EVM from the original TMDXEVM3503 model to the TMDSEVM3530 EVM2 pictured below. As well as providing the upgraded ARM core and DSP, the new board added S-Video, component, and composite inputs, says the company.


The TMDSEVM35350 EVM2 for the OMAP35x
(Click to enlarge)

According to Mistral, the TMDS3530 EVM2 also added a high-speed USB EHCI (embedded host controller interface) port. In addition, the newer board, which measures 5.65 x 3 inches, is available with a WL1271 module that adds 802.11b/g/n wireless networking.

In addition to the OMAP35x processor itself, the Linux-ready EVM2 provides 256MB of RAM, 256MB of flash storage, and a 3.7-inch touchscreen display available in 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 resolutions, says Mistral.

According to E-con, its e-CAM50_OMAP35x currently comes with a Linux driver and a Gstreamer plugin, and plans are in the works for a Windows CE 6.0 driver.

Further information

E-con Systems says the e-CAM50_OMAP35x is available now for approximately $450 exclusive of shipping. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

Meanwhile, the OMAP35x EVM2 is also available now, priced at approximately $1,500. For more information on the OMAP35x EVM, see TI's website, here, or Mistral's website, here


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