Micro camera module adds vision to smart toys, appliances

November 07, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Designed to supports applications in home robotics, smart appliances, and smart toys, the NanEyeM is a miniature integrated Micro Camera Module (MCM) assembly with a tiny footprint at the image sensor end of just 1mm2. The NanEyeM offers a high-resolution 100kpixel, 10-bit digital readout, and features a Single-Ended Interface Mode (SEIM).

Like a standard Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), the SEIM channel is easy to implement in any host processor and provides a cost-optimized solution without the need for LVDS deserialization. The maximum frame rate over the SEIM interface is 58 frames/s at a clock rate of 75MHz.

The camera features a custom multi-element lens which greatly improves the effective resolution of the sensor and reduces distortion compared to competing sensors that have a single-element lens. The MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) is over 50% in the corners, distortion is under 15% and colour aberration is under 1Px. 

The slave configuration in SEIM enables control of the frame rate via the host application processor, down to rates of a single frame per second or even slower. Two or more cameras can be synchronized for applications such as eye tracking or stereo vision, by providing a centralized clock from the application processor.

The NanEyeM also offers an Idle mode which reduces power consumption in applications, such as presence detection, that require only a small number of frames per minute. 

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