Understanding the Potential of Snapdragon™ ISPs and Selecting the Right Camera

Understanding the Potential of Snapdragon™ ISPs and Selecting the Right Camera

Defining the ISP

Snapdragon™ technology in the IoT space is often chosen for applications because of its advanced multimedia capabilities making it stand out over alternatives. When you use Snapdragon, you benefit from the performance efficiency of the CPU, immersive graphics from the GPU, a dedicated DSP and sensor core, integrated connectivity and the advanced imaging capabilities of the ISP. Without fully understanding each part of Snapdragon, you could be potentially missing out on making your application the best it can be! Today we focus on the role of the ISP, and help you choose a camera that perfectly fits your use case.

The Snapdragon ISP is beneficial in post processing camera functions such as HDR recombining, noise reduction and gamma correction, face or objection detection, and conversion between color spaces. The ISP also tackles autofocus, auto exposure, and auto white balance for better imaging, and is capable of encoding independent content simultaneously to cater to stereo vision use cases. It may have a lot of purpose but going back to the basics, it simply takes the raw sensor data and turns it into a quality photo.  

Selecting the Right Camera

Yes, the “right camera” can be a bit open-ended. Selecting a camera can be tricky as there are a lot of factors: what operating system you are using, which chipset you have selected, and the camera specs you require like resolution, input type, and pixel size. These are only a few things you will need to think about when it comes to selecting a camera.

Selecting the Camera ISP with BAYER and YUV sensors

Inforce has a lot of experience with different camera sensors, from YUV to BAYER. YUV sensors offer pre-built image tuning and are an excellent choice for Linux based applications. YUV sensors tend to be a better fit for the IoT space which require lower development costs and pre-tuned images. BAYER sensors allow the developer a lot more control over sensor data and the use of Snapdragon ISP’s capabilities. BAYER sensors harness advanced imaging capabilities of the Snapdragon’s ISP and can thus cater to more high-end applications. Sensors that can support higher resolutions like 4K are typically available as BAYER output.

Depending on the application, there are multiple reasons to choose specific camera interfaces based on your requirements. HDMI based cameras allow long cable lengths, offer lower latency, higher bandwidth, and provide high resolutions up to 4K. USB cameras cater to industrial applications which need a standard interface, accepts raw, processed or pre-encoded data, and do not require any external power. Lastly, MIPI-CSI interface is a popular choice for small footprint products because of the size and has the highest data transfer rate.  

The Integration

We understand that bringing up a camera during the development process can be a pain and even create delays so we are here to help and make the process a lot easier for you. Inforce provides support and services for the camera integration including hardware design and manufacturing, custom operating system BSPs, camera drivers, and camera tuning so you just need to select the appropriate camera sensor that suits you and an Inforce platform for your application!

Integration of MIPI camera ISP based on BAYER and YUV sensors

Inforce provides a few MIPI cameras based on BAYER and YUV sensors ranging from 5 to 21MP that work out of the box on our platforms. We also partner with camera manufacturers who have LVDS and USB industrial cameras. Contact Inforce sales team to get started.

Check out the webinar we had this week on understanding the potential of ISPs in Snapdragon processors and selecting the right camera sensor for your Inforce platform for more in-depth details.

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Erin Hartje

Erin Hartje is Inforce Computing's Product Marketing Manager.

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