THine ARTICLES

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Establishing a framework that multilaterally supports embedding camera functions into systems to achieve great progress toward realization of “SWARM/IoT of cameras”

In addition to smartphones and digital cameras, applications equipped with camera functions are rapidly increasing. And aside from automobiles, other products with built-in camera functions such as XR headsets, industrial equipment, medical equipment, educational equipment, and drones are also increasing. However, as we pointed out in the first and second articles of this series, embedding camera functions into applications is not an easy task as we need knowledge of both hardware and firmware. By using the “Camera Development Kit (CDK)” offered by THine Electronics, the effort of developing firmware can be dramatically reduced. However, the kit may not be enough for designers who are trying to embed camera functions for the first time. Therefore, THine Electronics initiated a new approach in addition to establishing a framework that multilaterally supports embedding camera functions into systems, by developing an Image Signal Processor (ISP) and CDK optimized for new applications.

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Paddle card connected with cameras, etc., easily enables longer distance transmission of such high speed interfaces as USB

Peripheral interfaces are rapidly achieving increases in transfer speed with no apparent boundaries. With the latest USB 3.1 Gen2 standards, a data-transmission rate of 10 Gbits/sec. has been achieved. A higher data-transmission rate enables a larger amount of data to be transmitted, thereby improving user convenience. On the other hand, a higher data-transmission rate has one disadvantage: the faster the transfer speed, the shorter the transfer distance. This may lead to a significant limit on use, depending on each case of use. In the second round of this technical report series that was published last time, we introduced the THCX222 Repeater IC in detail. Inserting this repeater IC into both ends of a cable can significantly extend the transfer distance. In this third (last) article of the series, we introduce system modules with the THCX222 Repeater IC installed. By using these modules, the time and cost spent on evaluating the repeater IC can be reduced, and the development of active cables and accessories for a PC can be considerably simplified.

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Details of GUI-based tuning tool of Camera Development Kit (CDK) for greatly enhanced ISP performance with no firmware coding

For electronic devices equipped with image sensors, it is essential to use an Image Signal Processor (ISP) that handles image processing and related operations. The development of ISP firmware can be a challenge for such cases. In the first article of this series, we introduced the current situation of ISP firmware development and the proposal by THine Electronics to solve the issues facing such development. By using the “Camera Development Kit (CDK)” offered by THine Electronics, these issues can be solved. In this second article of the series, we will introduce details of the GUI-based tuning tool named “THine Tuning Tool” (commonly known as “3T”), which is one of the components of the CDK. By using the CDK, ISP firmware can be developed without having experience in developing embedded firmware as long as users have knowledge about cameras and image processing.

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Gigabit speed Redriver IC with equalizer enables longer distance transmission of such high speed interfaces as USB 3.1 Gen2 and HDMI

Peripheral interfaces such as USB, HDMI and DisplayPort are rapidly achieving increases in transfer speed. In the first round of this technical report series that was published last time, we introduced the current state of affairs concerning such ongoing speedup efforts. We also provided a technical explanation of the resulting advantages and disadvantages. In fact, one such disadvantage is proving to be quite a tough nut to crack. This is because the advantage afforded by reducing the maximum data transfer distance could pose a fatal issue depending on the use case. In this second article of the series, we introduce a redriver IC that solves this issue. Using this IC makes it possible to significantly extend the maximum allowable transfer distance.

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Developed an automatic generation tool for ISP firmware that is no longer dependent on FPGA

An “image sensor” refers to a semiconductor device that takes images and videos. It is mounted on various electronic devices including digital cameras, smartphones, and automobiles. However, we cannot expect sufficient functions only with an image sensor. Combined use with an “Image Signal Processor (ISP)” that handles image processing is essential. The problem here is that the development of ISP firmware is extremely difficult. To solve this problem, THine Electronics began offering the “Camera Development Kit (CDK).” This article explains the background of CDK development and efficacy of its adoption.

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Increases in the speed of USB, HDMI and DisplayPort show no signs of stopping -- Greater benefits to users, but at the cost of reduced transfer distance

Today, peripheral interfaces such as USB, HDMI and DisplayPort are becoming increasingly capable of supporting higher speeds at a high pitch. Massive increases in the quantity of data and other factors lie behind such development. With increased speed, the amount of data that can be transferred increases significantly. The benefits of this speedup are enormous. On the other hand, some applications are burdened with issues due to such speedup. The most notable one is the reduced maximum distance of allowable transmission. This article describes the current state of affairs regarding the speedup of peripheral interfaces, the issues caused by reduced transfer distance, and ways to cope with such issues.

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V-by-One® HS goes beyond LVDS, making its presence known in medical, automotive and various other applications

V-by-One® HS has become the de facto standard in high-speed interface technology as almost all LCD TVs now adopt it for image/video transmission. In addition to LCD TVs, various applications are also using V-by-One® HS.

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