When using Snapdragon technology, MIPI-CSI is the most common interface we see for capturing video and photography in embedded applications. Many Snapdragon embedded devices mirror the mobility, connectivity, and advanced camera features familiar on our mobile phones. These popular mobile interfaces are part of what makes Snapdragon great for high performance, low power embedded devices.
Embedded computing opens more possibilities and allows users to share content from other devices. What if you wanted to capture 4K video from an HDMI source or share digital media through HDMI from your laptop, tablet, or set-up box? Most Snapdragon platforms do not allow for HDMI inputs because they cater to the common mobile trend of taking video input through the multiple MIPI camera interfaces available on the board. However, HDMI is more ubiquitous and now a preferred choice by users because it can cut down time-to-market by taking away driver work.
Inforce has developed a solution, using a converter chip from Toshiba, which takes the video input through HDMI and converts it to CSI which then naturally feeds into the Snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon SoC then recognizes the stream as CSI video input for the embedded devices as it would with a mobile phone. The stream can then be recorded or previewed by the Inforce board. This has been made available for devices running Android and is capable of both FullHD and 4K video input.
This solution allows you to stream and capture high definition video content in real time through HDMI. In healthcare, medical devices that take high resolution imaging such as streaming of surgical procedures or capturing ultrasound images can now be digitized and become accessible anywhere. Any hand-held device that requires digitizing or real-time encoding would benefit from this application software from Inforce.
We have seen HDMI to CSI as a necessity in applications with video capture. For example, if you had a drone or surveillance camera using an HDMI camera to take images or video, you could have the Inforce board encoding multiple DRM-free live video streams and be able to send it over the internet to a desired location.
This technology has been used and proven in production, specifically in video conferencing or collaboration devices. The HDMI to CSI solution would allow the user to mirror what is being displayed on your laptop and feed it into the Inforce powered device where it can be previewed or recorded. This creates a dual display concept where on one display you can see content from a laptop such as a presentation and on the other display you see the video feed from the conference call.
Developers can order Inforce 6420, a production ready single board computer based on Snapdragon 600, which has this technology integrated on board and supports both Android and Linux. This custom board supports 2 x HDMI out and 1 x HDMI input, Wi-Fi/BT, 2 x USB connectors, 1 USB OTG, and MIPI-DSI and is available for production today. For more information on pricing and lead times, please contact [email protected].
ACC-1S80 is an HDMI input adapter card for developers looking to test 4K video input through HDMI for their application. The adapter board uses the same Toshiba HDMI to CSI conversion chip we have used in production devices. It receives HDMI input and feeds CSI data into Inforce platforms through two 41-pin CSI connectors and comes with the necessary cables with the added bonus of not requiring an additional power supply. This accessory is currently in development.
We are eager to see more embedded scenarios taking advantage of this technology. For more information, read our case study on HDMI to CSI conversion or contact us at [email protected].