Innovative Research Platform For Car Cameras

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To keep pace with the growing trend of automotive cameras in applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving, ON Semiconductor has unveiled an innovative automotive camera platform that can be mounted in vehicles, and offers users a ready-to-use camera for the purpose of research and development. Users can reconfigure cameras on the fly with mix and match of different lenses, image sensors, image signal processors (ISPs) and communications options to fit their specific needs.

Modular Automotive Reference System (MARS) is so flexible that it can be used for the full spectrum of automotive camera applications including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), surround and rear viewing systems, in-cabin cameras (for gesture recognition, driver eye monitoring, or light level inspection purposes), and autonomous driving.

Aimed to reduce time-to-market and development costs for automotive camera developers, the platform has many different boards available which utilise the firm’s broad range of image sensors and co-processors, plus various automotive communications protocols from a select group of third party supply partners. This provides extensive scope in terms of finding the combination that best fits specific system requirements.

With this modular solution, users get rid of time-consuming activities such as creating custom boards (each capable of accommodating a different sensor option), testing out high-speed interface standards, or writing code for drivers.

MARS is supported by a complete ecosystem, encompassing software development tools, schematics, gerbers, bill-of-materials (BOM) and much more. A comprehensive user guide is also included within the accompanying documentation.

“As image sensing proliferates in automotive applications, MARS will provide system and software developers tasked with turning concepts into reliable working applications with a valuable platform to simplify and speed proof of concept and development, and offer the scalability to get ideas from the lab to on-vehicle testing in real-world conditions,” said Ross Jatou, General Manager and Vice President of Automotive Solutions Division of Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor. “The flexibility of MARS accelerates the component selection process by making the constituent sensors and co-processors totally interchangeable. The platform avoids the need to construct a multitude of custom boards to house different sensors for evaluation reducing engineering effort and shortening project times.”

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MARS supports commonly used communication standards (such as GMSL, FPD-Link, LVDS, MIPI, Ethernet) which enables direct interfacing with existing vehicle electronic control units (ECUs). The firm says it is working with an ecosystem of partners spanning lens developers, third party ISP vendors, communications IC vendors, software developers and SoC vendors. MARS modules are already prequalified with a range of these third party products and the company will expand these offerings going forward.

MARS development boards are available now. ON Semi also offers the MARS product recommendation tool which provides a convenient, step by step process to select the correct board(s) for your design.

Board pricing is available on request and enables fully configured cameras at $1,000.00 or less.

For further details, view the full Press release.

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