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Khronos and EMVA collaborate on embedded camera standards

Feb 24, 2021 — by Eric Brown 304 views

The Khronos Group and the European Machine Vision Association have formed an Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group to explore open, royalty-free API standards for controlling embedded cameras and sensors.

Beaverton, Oregon based The Khronos Group, known for graphic standards such as OpenGL and Vulkan, has announced a collaboration with the European Machine Vision Association to develop guidelines for potential standards governing embedded camera and sensor controls. Their new Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group, which is “open to all at no cost” will bring together sensor and camera manufacturers, silicon vendors, and software developers to explore the potential for camera control standards.

The goal of the exploratory group is to increase interoperability and reduce development costs in embedded markets using vision and sensor processing. Should the group find standardization to be viable, Khronos and EMVA “will work to initiate the proposed standardization projects at the appropriate organizations.”



With camera sensors increasingly integrated with image, vision, and inferencing accelerators, there has been a proliferation of incompatible camera control techniques. Hardware and software developers must contend with a growing variety of camera sensors, depth sensors, camera arrays, and ISP hardware without the help of open cross-vendor camera control API standards, says Khronos.

The Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group will hold their first meeting on Mar. 25 and continue to meet over several months to develop a Scope of Work (SOW) document that describes “the objectives and high-level direction of standardization initiatives,” says Khronos. Acceptance in the group will require signing an NDA.

Organizations that are likely to join include Khronos members ALL3D, Almalence, AMD, Apertus, AREA, Arm, Cadence, Codeplay, Collabora, EA, Facebook, Google, Holochip, HP, Huawei, LunarG, Mobica, Nvidia, Oculus, OPPO, Qualcomm, RedHat, Texas Instruments, Ultraleap, and Valve. The group will also include EMVA members and machine vision players such as Allied Vision, Basler AG, Baumer, MVTec, and Stemmer Imaging AG.

“This is a topic that is very relevant to Khronos as our acceleration APIs, such as OpenCL, SYCL, and OpenVX are often used to accelerate sophisticated sensor stream processing,” stated Neil Trevett, Khronos Group president.

“Both the EMVA and the Khronos group have a well-established history of standardization developments which enable industry to develop new products more simply, whilst ensuring friction is reduced in the market,” stated Dr. Chris Yates, EMVA president.

“The Linux camera community has seen a need for standardisation and interoperability in the embedded camera space for more than a decade,” stated Laurent Pinchart, lead architect of libcamera. “We launched the libcamera project two years ago to address that need…We are eagerly looking forward to actively participating in the Exploratory Group and deepening our collaboration with all the involved parties.”

Further information

More information on the Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group may be found in The Khronos Group’s announcement.

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