From cameras that decide when to take photographs, to cars that carefully watch other vehicles on the road, to smartphones that recognize a person’s face, image sensors are everywhere. But these devices can present pesky design challenges to engineers.
Now an interface standard released on Thursday claims to reduce the cost and complexity of installing these devices in Internet of Things devices. The announcement, from the MIPI Alliance, comes as chip companies including On Semiconductor and Sony release new image sensors with better accuracy and performance in low light.
The new standard, called the MIPI Camera Command Set, is an attempt to excise the custom software that makes configuring image sensors a complex and costly process. It can be used to create a common software driver to enable basic functions like resolution, frame rate and exposure times inside off-the-shelf image sensors, the industry group said.
The standard supplies a set of commands that also be used to enable advanced features like single frame high-dynamic range and fast bracketing. Mikko Muukki, technical lead for MIPI CCS, said in a statement that “it will enable rapid integration of basic camera functionalities in plug-and-play fashion without requiring any device-specific drivers.”
“MIPI CCS will also give developers flexibility to customize their implementations for more advanced camera and imaging systems,” said Muukki. Joel Huloux, chairman of the MIPI Alliance, added that “it will help developers accelerate time-to-market with innovative designs targeting the mobile industry, connected cars, [and] the Internet of Things."