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Device Profile: Sony XCI-SX1 camera module

Sep 9, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 22 views

Sony's XCI-SX1 is the first model in a line of rugged, Linux-based camera modules targeting the emerging “machine vision” product category. The black-and-white camera runs MontaVista Linux on an AMD Geode processor, and provides “the imager, intelligence, and interface” on a single plug-in module, Sony says.

The XCI-SX1 offers a drop-in replacement for less capable cameras, Sony says

According to Sony, camera modules with built-in image processing and interface software can provide OEMs, systems integrators, and vision tool manufacturers with a drop-in component that spares development effort. The XCI-SX1 — and other XCI- and XCL-series models to follow — retain the cube form factor of earlier “imager-only” cameras.

Future modules in Sony's line of Linux-based camera modules
(Click each to enlarge)

What's under the hood?

The XCI-SX1 is based on an AMD Geode GX533, a venerable embedded processor based on an x86-compatible core. The BIOS loads from 8MB of Flash, and the camera boots Linux from a 128MB CompactFlash card, which also serves for application and image storage. The camera has 128MB of DDR SDRAM.

I/O ports include an RJ-45 jack for 10/100 Ethernet, an RS-232C serial connector for remote control, a PC monitor output, and a USB 1.1 connector for keyboard, mouse, and trigger connector.

The camera's imager is based on a half-inch PS B&W CCD (charge-coupled device), and can capture 15fps at SXGA (1024 x 768) resolution, or 34fps at VGA (640 x 480) resolution, Sony says. Supported shutter speeds range from 2 seconds to 1/100,000th of a second, in “monitoring” mode, to 1/15th of a second to 1/50,000 of a second in “trigger” mode. Gain can be set from 0 to 18dB in 1dB steps. Additional functions include on/off gamma, negative/positive reverse, binarization, binning, and partial scan, Sony says.

Sony's GM of imaging products for broadcast and business, Ken LaMarca, said, “The arrival of the Sony XCI-SX1 and the full lineup of products that will soon follow frees system builders to focus on their core competencies.”


The XCI-SX1 shipped in June of this year, and is available through Sony Business Solutions and Systems retailers.

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