Optoelectronics

Complete 13MP PDAF UVC camera reference design kit

2nd June 2021
Alex Lynn

THine Solutions has introduced its new THEIA-CAM family of camera reference design kits. The first kit in the family is the THSCU101, a 13-megapixel phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF) USB video class (UVC) camera reference design kit.

The THSCU101 Kit is based on THine’s THP7312 image signal processor (ISP), Sony’s IMX258 13MP CMOS PDAF image sensor, and Cypress’ EZ-USB CX3 USB 3.0 camera controller. It provides users with optimised ISP and USB control firmware, reference circuit schematics, and scalability for high image quality in production. In addition, further customisation of the kit performance is easily achievable using THine’s GUI based Software development tools. As a result, the THSCU101 accelerates customers’ time-to-market without expensive initial costs for developing embedded camera systems.

This new THEIA-CAM improves upon the Ascella Kit previously introduced by THine and Cypress. In addition to delivering high resolution performance such as full HD and 4K Ultra HD, it adds PDAF technology that provides the ultra-fast auto-focus functionality preferred for live video streaming applications. The Kit’s single 35x36mm board allows flexible integration. Also, the ISP firmware compensates for CMOS Camera Module variations to achieve perfect unit-to-unit image quality in production.

THine’s THP7312 ISP supports high-resolution performance of up to 16 megapixels with throughput, low latency, and low power consumption. The Cypress’ CX3 adds SuperSpeed USB connectivity to any image sensor that is compliant with the MIPI Camera Serial Interface 2 (CSI-2) standard.

The kit enables plug-and-play operation, and it includes firmware optimised for all USB camera functions, significantly shortening development time and reducing engineering costs. Developers can use this smart reference design kit as a production-ready final product or as a development tool for high-resolution camera systems.

Each THSCU101 kit provides a great out-of-the box user experience. It includes a camera board pre-installed in a protective clear case along with a USB cable. To view video streaming through the THSCU101, the user simply connects the USB cable to a PC, launches a PC Camera application, and selects ‘change camera’.

“This is truly a disruptive solution for many vision system integrators because other solutions are simply not as good as this one,” said Tak Iizuka, Chief Solution Architect of THine Solutions. “We have many years of experience in camera systems. Over these years, we have found many cameras being marketed that are full of bugs and/or are poorly calibrated. Due to our extensive experience developing and manufacturing ISPs, we have learned the best practices along with best design techniques for these systems from PCB layout to ISP firmware development.

“Likewise, Cypress has similar experience with applications and firmware for the USB controller. In addition, we understand the need for scalability to production. We developed this Kit specially to achieve the same high image quality for every single unit in any high-volume production application. As a result, customers can be confident to use this reference design in their production systems.”

THEIA-CAM family

The THEIA-CAM family of kits address wide-ranging camera applications including bodycams, barcode reading devices, surveillance cameras, webcams, AR glasses, biometric devices, vision assistance glasses, microscopes, medical scopes, document scanners, and machine vision systems. THSCU101, the first Kit in the family, is a USB Video Class Camera.

Future THEIA-CAM family Kits will expand THine’s Camera Reference Design Kit offerings to other platforms including those using Linux based processors.

THSCU101 key features

  • High resolution including but not limited to 13Mega Pixel, 4K2K, 1080p.
  • Phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF).
  • Well-optimised image quality along with auto focus, auto white balance, and auto exposure.
  • USB video class control and extensions.
  • Scalability for high volume production.
  • 1.4x1.4” small Printed Circuit Board.

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