Windows Embedded Compact / Windows CE - Camera Drivers
CMOS sensors are being increasingly used in embedded applications as the cost and performance of CMOS sensors are beginning to match the requirements of the embedded industry.
e-con Systems has been working with CMOS sensors for the past 10 years and have been involved in end to end camera solutions for its customers. e-con has developed a lot of expertise in cameras and imaging and has robust industry partnerships for camera sensors, processors and software vendors.
e-con Systems manufactures and sells camera modules from 1MP to 8MP, Parallel, MIPI and USB 3.0 super speed cameras
e-con Systems offers DirectShow based device drivers for its camera modules for testing on a variety of development boards. Along with the camera sensor based daughter cards for the development boards, for evaluation, e-con systems also provides the drivers and application software to evaluate the various modules for the customer use case.
In addition to its camera offerings, e-con Systems differentiates itself from other vendors by offering solutions and specific services that enables the customer to design and integrate the camera into their product. e-con Systems has worked with customers and optimized the camera drivers and developed specific applications based on customer requirements.
Some of the customer applications that e-con has worked on in developing camera drivers include:
Capture image (from click to image on RAM) in 300ms.
Stream a 720p stream of video at 60 fps from the image sensor to display without any frame loss.
Gather the video stream from a sensor on a circular ring buffer on the RAM for processing of the frames.
In addition to these cases, e-con has worked on many more driver development applications which meet very specific and unique customer requirements.
DirectShow Camera Drivers For Windows CE 6.0 / Windows Embedded Compact 2013 and 7
Camera integration onto the Windows Embedded Compact has to follow the DirectShow framework and the drivers developed by the engineering team at e-con Systems adhere to the DirectShow framework. Following the standard set by Microsoft, the drivers can be used with any DirectShow based application.
The camera driver generally is a single piece of device level software that controls the camera sensor, camera sensor interface in the applications processor, Image Processing unit in the processor and the imaging to display pipeline in the processor. Developing a driver for the camera requires a very clear understanding and control over all the elements mentioned above.
Exploiting all the various features and capabilities of the processor and image sensor with the DirectShow implementation without compromising on speed and performance is a challenging task. e-con systems has developed DirectShow camera drivers for many SOCs like TI OMAP3(DM3730), OMAP4, IMX 6, IMX 32, IMX53, PXA270, PXA320, Samsung Exynos, etc.
Image Processing & Codec Integration
Unlike other peripherals including a camera could be for multiple purposes like
Still Image Capture.
Processing of frames and identifying something.
Compressing and transmitting over the network.
More often than not, the camera frames from the sensor pass through various steps of image processing before being utilized for the application.
There are two primary objectives in image/video stream processing:
Improving the image quality and appearance of the image stream.
Processing the image to identify certain aspects in the image.
e-con Systems has integrated its custom software image processing blocks onto the camera imaging pipeline for the following
Colour Mode processing.
Auto White Balancing.
Colour and Gamma Corrections.
e-con's engineers have also worked on utilizing the image processing unit blocks in processors like OMAP to do the scaling, colour/gamma correction, etc.
On the other hand, e-con Systems has utilized the openCV, a computer vision algorithm to process the images and identify various aspects in an image like
Circle Detection / Colour Detection.
Edge Detection. , etc
Image Quality tuning
In many cases, WYSIWYG is very important and it is also important that the images are close to real life for many use cases. Especially in forestry and mining the images captured by cameras need to be close in colour and contour to the original real life object.
e-con Systems has an in-house image testing laboratory (based on Imatest, www.imatest.com) when the camera engineering group can capture images of standard targets under standard lighting conditions and can compare them with pre-set results to identify the problems in the cameras. The problems in optics, image sensing, focus, colour reproduction, etc. can be identified clearly and the required compensatory steps can be taken in the software processing.