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Linux-based imaging dev kit targets Basler cameras

Mar 24, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,131 views

Critical Link unveiled an imaging dev kit based on its Cyclone V-based MitySOM-5CSx module, featuring an interface to Basler BCON dart cameras.

Critical Link announced a Linux-driven “MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit” for automation, robotics, motion control, and vision applications based on its Intel Cyclone V based MitySOM-5CSx COM and baseboard. The latter has been upgraded with an add-on board designed to connect with Basler’s BCON dart embedded area scan cameras. The MitySOM-5CSx baseboard plugs directly to a DisplayPort monitor with no need for a PC intermediary.

MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit (left) and MitySOM-5CSx
(click images to enlarge)

The SODIMM-style MitySOM-5CSx module was originally announced as the MityARM-5CSX back in 2013. The 82 x 38mm COM is based on Altera’s Cyclone V SX-U672 ARM/FPGA SoC, now owned by Intel. The Cyclone V SX provides a “Hard Processor System” (HPS) with dual 800MHz Cortex-A9 cores, as well as an FPGA on par with Altera’s Stratix V.

MitySOM-5CSx block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Both subsystems share 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and the FPGA can draw upon an optional 256MB of DDR3. The module provides two GbE controllers, 4x PCIe lanes, and up to 145 GPIO lines.

General purpose MitySOM-5CSx Development Kit detail view (does not show camera add-on board)
(click image to enlarge)

The COM’s 314-pin MXM 3.0 edgecard connector connects with the 177.8 x 101.6mm baseboard that forms the basis of the MitySOM-5CSx Development Kit. The baseboard provides a GbE port, a micro-USB 2.0 OTG port, and a USB Blaster-II. There’s also a SATA connector, a console port, and dual isolated CAN ports, among other I/O shown in the diagram above. An SD slot is located on the back of the board.

The MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit uses the same board, but adds an adapter board for the Basler BCON dart cameras. BCON is the name of Basler’s custom LVDS-based interface, which is offered as a leaner, more affordable alternative to the cameras’ USB 3.0-based USB3 Vision Standard compliant interface.

MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The imaging kit’s baseboard hooks up to the BCON interface via its FPGA linked HSMC transceivers. There also appears to be a new DisplayPort adapter linked to the FPGA.


The Basler BCON dart cameras start at 99 Euros ($107, and come in S-mount, CS-mount, and bare-board variants. The latter measures only 27 x 27mm and weighs 5 grams, while the S- and CS-mount versions are 29 x 29mm and 15 grams. The cameras available on Critical Link’s imaging kit use e2v and ON Semiconductor CMOS sensors with resolutions of 1.2- to 5-megapixels and up to 60fps video.

To develop on the MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit, you can draw on the module’s Linux BSP, as well as Intel/Altera’s VIP Suite and OpenCL tools. Basler’s “user-friendly pylon” Camera Software Suite is included for free.

Later this year, Critical Link plans to launch a 2nd gen imaging kit with “out-of-the-box synching of up to 4 darts,” said a company spokesperson.

Further information

The MitySOM Embedded Imaging Dev Kit for Basler’s BCON dart cameras will ship early in the second quarter. Critical Link will demonstrate the product at Automate, April 3-6 in Chicago at booth #2666. The demo shows an edge detection application featuring real-time image processing and leveraging of IP Cores from Altera’s VIP Suite.

More information on the MitySOM-5CSx may be found here, and more on the module’s non-imaging development kit is here and here.

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