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MIPI Alliance releases camera command set specification

The MIPI Alliance has released a specification providing a standardised way to integrate image sensors in mobile devices.

The new specification, MIPI Camera Command Set v1.0 (MIPI CCS v1.0), defines a standard set of functionalities for implementing and controlling image sensors.

The specification is offered for use with MIPI Camera Serial Interface 2 v2.0 (MIPI CSI-2 v2.0) and is now available for download. In an effort to help standardise use of MIPI CSI-2, MIPI Alliance membership is not required to access the specification.

MIPI CSI-2 is being considered by the Future Standards Forum of the G3 vision group as a potential machine vision standard to cater for embedded cameras. Industrial vision companies are already releasing products with the interface, such as Allied Vision’s Alvium ASIC in its 1 product line of cameras, and Basler’s Dart cameras.

At Stemmer Imaging’s UK technology forum on 16 November, Jochen Braun, director of sales, EMEA at Allied Vision, commented that CSI-2 is mature enough for machine vision’s needs - the interface was released in 2005 and therefore is not going to change significantly, Braun said.

MIPI CSI-2 is a widely used hardware interface for deploying camera and imaging components in mobile devices. The introduction of MIPI CCS to MIPI CSI-2 further increases interoperability, and reduces integration and costs for complex imaging and vision systems, according to the MIPI Alliance.

‘MIPI Alliance is building on its success in the mobile camera and imaging ecosystem with MIPI CCS, a new specification that will enhance the market-enabling conveniences MIPI CSI-2 already provides,’ said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. ‘The availability of MIPI CCS will help image sensor vendors promote greater adoption of their technologies and it will help developers accelerate time-to-market with innovative designs targeting the mobile industry, connected cars, the Internet of Things, AR/VR, and other areas.’

MIPI CCS offers a common software driver to configure the basic functionalities of any off-the-shelf image sensor that is compliant with MIPI CCS and MIPI CSI-2 v2.0. The new specification provides a complete command set that can be used to integrate basic image sensor features such as resolution, frame rate and exposure time, as well as advanced features like phase detection auto focus (PDAF), single frame HDR or fast bracketing.

‘The overall advantage of MIPI CCS is that it will enable rapid integration of basic camera functionalities in plug-and-play fashion without requiring any device-specific drivers, which has been a significant pain point for developers,’ said Mikko Muukki, technical lead for MIPI CCS. ‘MIPI CCS will also give developers flexibility to customise their implementations for more advanced camera and imaging systems.’

MIPI CCS v1.0 was developed for use with MIPI CSI-2 v2.0 and, as such, is backward compatible with earlier versions of the MIPI CSI-2 interface. It is implemented on either of two physical layers from MIPI Alliance: MIPI C-PHY or MIPI D-PHY.


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