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Jetson TX2 camera add-on features 6x HD cameras

Sep 6, 2017 — by Eric Brown — 980 views
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E-con has launched a Linux-driven camera system for the Jetson TX1 and TX2 dev kits with six 3.4MP, HD cameras that stream in uncompressed YUV422.

Embedded vendor E-con Systems has long been known for its Linux-driven embedded camera modules and boards such as its i.MX6 based e-CAM50IMX6. Now, the company has launched an ambitious, six-camera “e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2” solution designed to work with Nvidia developer kits for the Nvidia Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2 computer-on-modules.

e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 kit with green adaptor board plugged into Jetson TX2 dev kit (left) and in configuration with cameras mounted on risers
(click images to enlarge)

This e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 “HexCamera” solution consists of six 3.4-megapixel, dual-lane MIPI-CSI2 e-CAM30_CUMI0330_MOD cameras and an e-CAMHEX_TX2ADAP adaptor board that plugs into the Jetson development kit boards via J22 connectors. The system streams 720p and 1080p video @ 30fps in uncompressed YUV422 format in both synchronous and asynchronous modes, and supports up 3.4-megapixel stills with 2304 x 1536-pixel resolution. All these capabilities are available on six cameras simultaneously with full frame synchronization.

The 75 x 41mm adaptor board connects to the six e-CAM30_CUMI0330_MOD cameras using 30cm micro-coaxial cables. The full system runs on 5V, and consumes between 5.33W and 8.10W when streaming all six cameras on a Jetson TX2.

e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 detail view without Jetson dev kit (left) and e-CAM30_CUMI0330_MOD camera with lens
(click images to enlarge)

The e-CAM30_CUMI0330_MOD cameras, which measure 30 x 30 x 24mm without the supplied lenses, ship with S-Mount lens holders. Each camera includes a 1/3″ optical format AR0330 CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor. The cameras provide 39 dB SNR and 69.5 dB dynamic range, as well as an ISP that processes auto functions such as auto white balance and auto exposure control. MJPEG compression is optional.

e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 deployed in 360° rig

E-con’s bare-bones announcement doesn’t mention applications, but the system would appear to support a variety of computer vision and surveillance scenarios. One image, shown at top, has the cameras mounted on risers above the adapter board and the larger Jetson developer board, so they point in all directions on a horizontal plane. The photo directly above shows the cameras deployed in an omnidirectional configuration with cameras pointing up and down in addition to four sides. It’s unclear if the TX2 with e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 can generate a seamless 360° surround video like other 360° cameras. Presumably, E-Con offers both mounting rigs as accessories, although no details were provided.

E-Con supplies a V4L2 Linux camera driver that includes a variety of camera controls, as well as a sample app with source code. Gstreamer-1.0 support is provided for video recording and network streaming.

Jetson TX2

Nvidia’s Jetson kits extend the Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2 modules, which run Linux on the quad-core, Cortex-A57 Nvidia Tegra X1 and Tegra X2 SoCs, respectively. The Tegra X2 (Tegra Parker) adds two high-end “Denver” cores to its quad -A57 foundation. Both COMs measure 87 x 55mm, and include 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth. The Jetson TX2 supplies 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of eMMC 5.1.

Nvidia’s Mini-ITX form-factor TX2 Developer Kit, which is very similar to the TX1 model, includes 400-pin connectors to hook up the COM. The board supplies coastline GbE, USB 3.0, micro-USB 2.0, and HDMI ports, as well as SATA, M.2 Key E, and PCIe x4 interfaces. There’s a full-sized SD slot, as well as display and MIPI-CSI camera headers.

Jetson TX2 Developer Kit carrier (left) and full kit
(click images to enlarge)

Further information

The e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 is available through Sep. 14 for $1,299, after which it will sell for $1,499. The kit includes the adapter board and six cameras, but without a Jetson development kit. (The TX2 kit costs $599.) More information may be found on the E-Con Systems e-CAM30_HEXCUTX2 product page.

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