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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-29-2019, 04:09 AM   #1
rvalvekar
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Driver Support for Camera Systems


Hello All,
I am trying to research into the possibilities of Interfacing a Camera Sensor which has a LVDS Output to a CPU with Linux Kernel. I was told that I will be needing a Sensor Bridge or a Converter IC to convert the LVDS to Parallel Interface which is available on the CPU.

The questions I would like to ask to the community are :
1. Do i need specific drivers to get the camera system will the sensor bridge running on the Linux Kernel ?
2. Are there any alternatives to designing or writing custom drivers from scratch ?
3. Is there a possibility that I can use the camera drivers which are present in the Linux Kernel to get the functionality of the camera in Linux Kernel ? The Generic Drivers which are not specific to the a camera sensor.
4. Any other thoughts with which I can start progressing into this research ?
Thank You for the help and support,
Best,
Rohan
 
Old 01-30-2019, 11:32 AM   #2
business_kid
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I'll have a go at this because I have a hardware background.

There used to be a guy in France doing drivers and he wrote several 'gspca' drivers. These days, most webcams use the uvcvideo module. I'll be surprised if you can't specify a camera that will work with that. If yours doesn't I'd advise considering alternatives.

In any case there's already a forest of webcam drivers in the linux kernel, so I doubt you'll have to write one. Nearly all cameras go on usb, which is high speed serial, not parallel. Mind you, it's a while since I poked my head into a pc.
USB does serial --> parallel just fine. If you really have to do LVDS over usb-c, look for off the shelf solutions, and kernel support. You may well find both lacking. But if this is designing for 5 years hence, you'll probably find high speed serial or optical solutions (e.g. as in thunderbolt) will be more relevant, and it might be best to do the parallel --> serial bit straight after the camera.
 
Old 01-31-2019, 12:46 AM   #3
rvalvekar
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I can use USB Interface, but the hardware is going to be a custom hardware with no USB Interface. Thats the reason I asked the question. I know that I can use the uvc drivers and v4l2 drivers for USB Webcam. But the interface for this camera sensor, with respect to the CPU is going to be MIPI Camera Parallel Interface, which basically needs a camera drivers, which usually is either a Generic SOC Camera driver present in the kernel, or the driver which is specifically built for the camera that is being used.

But thanks for the reply.
 
Old 02-01-2019, 03:29 AM   #4
business_kid
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Anytime I hear of someone going directly at the CPU in a pc(?) I shudder. We used do it in the 1980s & 1990s but those industrial pcs only did a few MHz. And we usually had a half a dozen spares in a drawer somewhere.

Better explain the hardware properly. Any camera I am aware of is far too slow to go near a modern CPU.
 
Old 02-01-2019, 03:40 AM   #5
rvalvekar
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Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Anytime I hear of someone going directly at the CPU in a pc(?) I shudder. We used do it in the 1980s & 1990s but those industrial pcs only did a few MHz. And we usually had a half a dozen spares in a drawer somewhere.

Better explain the hardware properly. Any camera I am aware of is far too slow to go near a modern CPU.
I am trying to Interface a Sony Camera Sensor, which will be interfaced to a Arm Processor with Parallel Camera Interface. Now with what knowledge I have, I am sure you or any other expert in Linux will have more, but with lets say Raspberry Pi Camera module or for NXP Sabre Lite + OV5647 Camera module, the Linux Kernel comes with a driver specifically for a camera sensor. So with OV5647, there is a driver source file in c, inside the linux kernel, which when compiled makes sure that the camera data can be used in User Space.

With most of the Camera Systems OEM, they have something that sits in the middle which is usually is a Sensor Bridge or a converter from LVDS to Parallel or MIPI CSI interface. But later when the Camera sensor actually connects with the board, either there needs to be some kind of low level programming which can handle the camera signals and pixel data, and forward it to user space for manipulation, or there needs to be a software interface (Driver) which can make sure the data is ready for user.

So my question is, after the conversion of signals in FPGA Sensor Bridge/ Converter, is there a requirement of custom drivers specific for camera sensor, or the generic drivers which are shipped with the kernel sufficient to do the job.

Thanks for being patient with the thread.
 
Old 02-04-2019, 12:01 PM   #6
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I wasn't really talking software problems, but hardware ones. I have seen so many things blown because some dweeb overheats a solder joints on one or some of the parallel leads. Then the pvc insulation shrinks back, leading to disaster. If your boss has a vested interest in using lvds, then it has to happen. I advise against otherwise.

I have no real comment of interest on your software options. Look for an Application Note from Sony, bug technical support, email maintainers, etc.
 
Old 02-05-2019, 12:39 AM   #7
rvalvekar
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Thanks for the hardware concerns.
 
  


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