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IP camera design runs MIPS Linux

Aug 27, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 39 views

ASIC vendor Micronas has introduced a hardware/software development kit for a small camera claimed capable of streaming D1 (DVD) resolution video over IP (Internet protocol) networks. The “Mini-IP Camera” kit is based on Micronas's Cypher ESN7108A SoC (system-on-chip), and runs Linux on the SoC's MIPS core.

The Mini-IP camera design targets surveillance and other types of monitoring applications. It is said to accept audio and video input from attached sensors, compress it in real time, and send it out using single- or multi-cast Internet protocols such as RTSP.

The Mini-IP camera is based on Micronas's Cypher 7108A SoC, which is powered by an unspecified 32-bit MIPS application processor core. The SoC integrates a streaming media encoder said to support MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, H.263, and MJPEG video encoding, together with an audio codec, external memory controller, cryptographic accelerator for VPN (virtual private network) functions. Other interfaces include a 10-bit camera/audio interface, standard PC hard drive and USB interfaces, and an HPI (host port interface) for attachment to a Texas Instruments DSP.

Cypher ESN7108A function block diagram.
(Click to enlarge)

The Mini-IP camera development kit ships with 128MB of RAM, and 8MB of flash memory. It comes with a camera sensor and hard drive, with WiFi optional.

Micronas IP camera diagram
(Click to enlarge)

On the software side, the Mini-IP camera includes a Linux 2.6 kernel, “thus enabling differentiation through customizable software,” the ASIC vendor said. Also included is motion-detection software, and software for configuring bitrates between 128Kbps and 6Mbps.

Andreas Letsos, director of product marketing, stated, “This camera design has the ability to powerfully process and compress images and sound at real time, and transmit the compressed content over a network. The design provides an unprecedented level of integration enabling highly cost and size efficient designs.”


The Mini-IP camera dev kit appears to be available now. It includes hardware, software, sensor with lens, internal microphone, and external headphone/speaker connection and PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) interface.

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