5 Megapixel ethernet-connected camera for industrial application
After years of disappointing experiences with the unreliable protocols and drivers of USB cameras in industrial environments, our client came to us to design a low-cost Ethernet-connected camera that would meet their strict reliability requirements and put an end to the problems they were having with existing parts in the field.
After a careful preliminary feasibility study, which the client wisely commissioned to avoid making an overly hasty choice on a crucial project, we opted for a solution based on an ARM9 microprocessor from Texas Instruments and no FPGA to keep costs down.
Develer then took care of designing the board, tracing and routing and producing initial prototypes. With hardware in hand, we ported Linux to it and produced the software which communicated with the PC to acquiring and warehouse RAW images.
- Higher than average physical constraints
- Board designed for high-frequency operation
- System software needed to be implemented from scratch
- Use of a microprocessor without FPGA
- Linux porting
- Optimized and modular embedded software
- Design of an ethernet-connected camera with extreme reliability for constant use in industrial settings
- Tight requirements for physical tolerance
- Feasibility study to choose the best hardware and software architecture
- Design, tracing and routing of embedded board
- Linux port
- Development of embedded control software
- A rugged digital camera at the required production cost
- Extreme stability and resilience of both hardware and software
- Flexible software with a plugin architecture for adding new functionality dynamically
Advantages of our solution
The choice of an embedded board with a microprocessor was a very cost effective way of meeting the relatively low processing and bandwidth requirements.
Opting for Linux proved both easy to implement and powerful, enabling us to permit the remote deployment of new image processing algorithms directly on the camera which would not have been as simple with a hardware-based solution.
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Advantages of our methodology
Our attention to the smallest detail in the planning phases of the board and during tracing and routing left us with a fully functional prototype, allowing us to quickly begin testing the software on real hardware and reducing development time.
Advantages of open Source
Basing our solution on Linux let us choose from a vast range of microprocessors, selecting the part that best balanced the client’s requirements for performance and cost.
“Producing a high-performance board, with strict mechanical requirements, and seeing it work correctly the first time you give it power is immensely satisfying!”