Deggendorf/Nuremberg, Germany, 25 February 2020 -- Congatec - a leading vendor of standardized and customized embedded computer boards and modules - is expanding its embedded vision offering with a new solution platform for the NXP i.MX 8 processor series. The application-ready ARM platform now for the first time integrates all components required for MIPI camera support on the board, allowing plug & play connection of camera technology from embedded vision partners such as Basler. As the 3.5 inch based platform is modular and based on the SMARC standard, OEMs can quickly and cost-efficiently customize performance and implement their system solutions based on a comprehensive ecosystem of off-the-shelf components. Thanks to its long-term availability, ruggedness, low power consumption and high scalability, the new congatec Embedded Vision Platform is suitable for countless embedded vision applications such as automated checkout systems in retail, surveillance and access control systems in facility management, industrial inspection systems for quality assurance, augmented reality for maintenance, and image processing in mobile and portable medical technology. In addition, interactive GUIs also benefit from the application-ready Embedded Vision Platform, as they increasingly integrate gesture and voice control and optionally also employ artificial intelligence.
Thanks to a standardized SMARC Computer-on-Module connector, the processor performance is scalable on demand and can easily be adapted to the requirements of the specific application. congatec currently offers 12 different processor module variants from the NXP i.MX 8 processor series, ranging from the high-end i.MX 8 to the ultra-low-power i.MX 8M Mini. I/Os can also be adapted more easily and cost-efficiently thanks to the modular concept. Developed in cooperation with Basler’s embedded vision specialists, the new development platform also meets all requirements for ease of use. Since the camera drivers are integrated into the BSP of the vision kit, the platform can be implemented without any hardware-related programming effort. This allows customers to start directly with embedded vision system development.
“Thanks to our close partnership with Basler, we are able to offer our customers a unique embedded vision ecosystem that provides perfectly matched hardware and software components. This ecosystem makes it much easier for customers to enter the modular embedded vision world and greatly simplifies the development of customized embedded vision solutions,” explains Martin Danzer, Director Product Management at congatec. Rapid customization of I/Os is another benefit of such a modular design and most suitable for any small or medium sized project.
The feature set in detail
The new congatec embedded vision platform for the NXP i.MX 8 processor series is based on a modular 3.5-inch carrier board, is available with various SMARC Computer-on-Module configurations and comes with the 13 megapixel Basler BCON for MIPI camera module. This camera module can be connected directly to the 3.5-inch board because all necessary components for connecting MIPI cameras are integrated onboard. So no additional converter modules are needed. Next to MIPI-CSI 2.0, USB and GigE vision cameras will be also be supported, as are the artificial intelligence and neural networks of the NXP i.MX8 ecosystem, thanks to which image segmentation algorithms can be used, for instance to identify objects such as traffic signs. On the software side, congatec provides fully compiled binaries for download via GitHub. Including boot loader, Android, standard Linux, or Yocto, as well as the appropriate BSPs and processor-optimized Basler embedded vision software, this covers everything developers need for an immediate system start.