Two team on royalty free embedded camera and sensor API: Page 2 of 2

February 22, 2021 //By Nick Flaherty
Two team on royalty free embedded camera and sensor API
Khronos and EMVA have launched an exploratory group to look at an open, royalty free API standard for embedded camera applications

“Embedded vision is a natural progression from full-sized PC-based vision systems to systems on a chip and is critically important to the future of the vision industry. The industry has seen great benefits from digital interface/interoperability standards such as GigE Vison and USB3 Vision in expanding markets, reducing costs, and simplifying technology application. It makes great sense to continue these standardization concepts at the embedded level,” said Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), parent association to AIA - Advancing Vision+Imaging.

The Embedded Camera API Exploratory Group has been created in response to industry requests. Increasingly, embedded camera sensors are being tightly integrated with image, vision and inferencing accelerators in self-contained systems.

The two groups say innovation and efficiency in the embedded vision market is becoming constrained by the lack of open cross-vendor camera control API standards to reduce development and integration costs of multiple advanced sensors and cameras.

“Lack of API standards for advanced use of embedded cameras and sensors is an impediment to industry growth, collaboration and innovation,” said Christine Perey, interoperability and standards program leader for the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance (AREA). “Enterprise AR customers and systems integrators/value added providers will benefit from greater clarity, open interfaces between modular systems and innovation in the component provider ecosystem. Standards for camera and sensor control will increase opportunities for powerful new combinations of sensor and AR compute resources, integration with existing IT, and lower cost and complexity of future solutions.”

The activity will use Khronos’ framework for new initiatives under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). All participants will have an equal voice in exploring industry needs for, and benefits of, creating a consensus to develop a Scope of Work (SOW) document describing the objectives and high-level direction of standardization initiatives of value to the industry. The Exploratory Group is expected to meet online over a period of several months starting on March 25, 2021. 

The Group is open to all proposals and relevant topics but says it will not discuss detailed technical design contributions to protect participants intellectual property (IP). If a work programme is agreed, Khronos and EMVA will look to start the standardization work at the most suitable host organizations or open source projects.

Companies interested in joining the Exploratory Group include ALL3D, Almalence, AMD, Apertus, AREA, ARM, Cadence, Codeplay, Collabora, EA, Facebook, Google, Holochip, HP, Huawei, LunarG, Mobica, Nvidia, Oculus, OPPO, Qualcomm, RedHat, Texas Instruments, Ultraleap, and Valve from Khronos. EMVA members and machine vision players include such as Allied Vision, Basler, Baumer, MVTec, and Stemmer Imaging.

”We are delighted to work with Khronos on this initiative to commonly understand the industry needs for the future of embedded vision,” said Dr. Chris Yates, EMVA president. “Both the EMVA and the Khronos group have a well-established history of standardization developments which enable industry to develop new products more simply, whilst ensuring friction is reduced in the market. This Exploratory Group is an excellent approach to understanding broader industry needs and will bring together many companies and views in an open forum. We look forward to working closely with the Khronos Group and welcoming all new and existing participants to this important initiative for the vision community.”

“The establishment of this Exploratory Group provides a great opportunity to connect with the Khronos Group, EMVA and industry partners to ensure that together we can create the best experience for embedded cameras on all Linux platforms,” said Laurent Pinchart, lead architect of libcamera. “The Linux camera community has seen a need for standardisation and interoperability in the embedded camera space for more than a decade. We launched the libcamera project two years ago to address that need, initiating an ambitious effort to reach out to the industry and improve Linux camera support for mobile, embedded and desktop systems. We are eagerly looking forward to actively participating in the Exploratory Group and deepening our collaboration with all the involved parties.”

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