Many embedded vision applications today require monochrome cameras to be placed in varying lighting conditions. Some of these applications include smart traffic management, auto farming, outdoor AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots), etc. Unfortunately, many monochrome sensors do not come with an inbuilt auto exposure engine, and depend on an external ISP to enable AEC (Auto Exposure Control). However, adding additional hardware or ASCII ISP is a costly affair. The alternate method is to go with an inbuilt ISP that works seamlessly with powerful host processors like the NVIDIA Jetson series which are capable of running heavy workloads and algorithms on them.
At the same time, it is to be noted that using an external ISP does come with certain advantages. Since it is beyond the scope of this article, read about it in the article Camera ISP and significance of using an external ISP in imaging solutions.
Now coming back to using an inbuilt ISP. For product engineers using NVIDIA as the host platform, e-con Systems offers AEC-enabled camera solutions. These include camera systems – that leverage the NVIDIA ISP – such as e-CAM222_CUMI2311_MOD (2MP OV2311 monochrome global shutter camera module) and cameras with monochrome sensors including AR0521. If you wish to look at the entire portfolio of e-con’s cameras for NVIDIA Jetson, please visit the NVIDIA Jetson cameras page.
In this article, we look at the pipeline used to enable AEC using the NVIDIA ISP for such camera solutions.