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Linux dev kit combines DragonBoard with Basler’s new CSI-linked Dart cams

Mar 9, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,661 views

Basler announced a lower cost, MIPI-CSI-2 version of its BCON Dart embedded cameras designed for Snapdragon-based systems. The BCOM for MIPI Dart modules are sold with a DragonBoard 410c SBC and DragonBoard Camera Kit.

Basler, Qualcomm, and Arrow have collaborated on a Linux-based Basler Dart BCOM for MIPI Development Kit that showcases Basler’s newly announced BCOM for MIPI Dart embedded machine vision camera modules. Equipped with a MIPI-CSI-2 interface and Linux drivers designed to work with Qualcomm Snapdragon based “extended life product portfolio” embedded boards, the camera modules are being sold with a Qualcomm backed, Arrow-built DragonBoard 410c SBC equipped with an Arrow/D3 Engineering DragonBoard 410c Camera Kit.

Basler Dart BCOM for MIPI Development Kit (left) and BCOM for MIPI Dart module

The first BCOM for MIPI Dart modules are the monochrome daA2500-60mm and color-enabled daA2500-60mc, both of which are equipped with a 5-megapixel AR0521 CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor. The 2.2 µm pixel sized sensor supports 60fps video and 2592 x 1944-pixel resolution.

Unlike other Dart cameras, the BCON for MIPI versions dispense with the costly ISP, instead relying on the Snapdragon’s own Spectra ISP. The Snapdragon 410’s Spectra supports 1.5GP/s throughput and image sensors up to 13-megapixels. Basler did not reveal pricing for the BCOM for MIPI cameras, which are due in Q3, but suggested they would be cheaper than earlier models.


Announced in Vision Systems Design, the Basler Dart BCOM for MIPI Development Kit includes a Linaro-based Linux driver package that controls sensor and image acquisition. It’s designed for embedded-oriented Snapdragons such as the Snapdragon 410 found on the open-spec, 96Boards compatible DragonBoard 410c. Presumably, the same software interface could be easily ported to other Snapdragon processors. The driver package also implements the interface to Basler’s GenICam based Pylon Camera Software Suite.

DragonBoard 410c Camera Kit (left) and DesignCore Camera Mezzanine Board OV5640 on its own
(click images to enlarge)

Arrow announced its DragonBoard 410c Camera Kit featuring D3 Engineering’s DesignCore Camera Mezzanine Board OV5640 in November. The add-on board follows the 96Boards mezzanine spec, but is designed to work only with the DragonBoard.

The DragonBoard Camera Kit can connect up to two MIPI CSI-2 cameras. It enables direct access to the Snapdragon 410 SoC, thereby eliminating the need to decode USB or Ethernet protocols, “resulting in lower power and higher performance,” claimed Arrow. The board also provides 2x UART, 2x SPI, and single I2C, PCM, and GPIO interfaces.

In the Basler version, the default Leopard Imaging Micro Camera Module OV5640 is swapped out for one of the BCON to MIPI Dart modules. In addition to the Dart camera module, DragonBoard, and mezzanine board, the kit includes a flexible flat flex cable and a “small connector for applications with the highest space constraints,” says Basler.

Basler Dart BCON for LVDS Development Kit

The BCON for MIPI kit joins earlier Linux-driven Basler kits for its Dart cameras including a Basler Dart USB 3.0 Evaluation Kit and Basler Dart BCON for LVDS Development Kit. The latter is built around an Avnet MicroZed 7010 module with a Xilinx Zynq-7010 SoC.

Critical Link’s updated camera dev board supports dual Darts

A year ago, Critical Link announced a MitySOM-5CSx Development Kit designed for the LVDS version of the Basler Dart. The kit is based on its MitySOM-5CSx COM and baseboard, which in turn runs Linux on an Intel/Altera Cyclone V SX-U672 ARM/FPGA SoC. Since then, Critical Link has launched an upgraded model of the same name.

Updated 2018 version of Critical Link MitySOM-5CSx Development Kit (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The new model continues to use the MitySOM-5CSx COM and BCON for LVDS Dart cameras, but comes with a larger baseboard that supports two simultaneous Dart cameras instead of one. At Photonic West in January, Critical Link demonstrated some upcoming imaging designs including a 48MP Imaging Platform based on an Intel/Altera Arria 10 based image processing board.

Further information

The BCON for MIPI development kit and Dart camera modules will be available in Q3 2018. More information may be found on Basler’s BCON for MIPI Dart camera module product page.

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