Olimex Seeks Comment on Its New Open Hardware Allwinner-Powered IP Camera Board Design

Available under the CERN Open Hardware Licence, the design is up for comments ahead of routing and initial production.

Bulgarian open hardware specialist Olimex has released initial designs for a new camera-focused board powered by the Allwinner S3 system-on-chip — and is requesting comments ahead of initial production.

Having announced a new board aimed at NB-IoT low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) developers just last month, Olimex has confirmed it has another open hardware design in the works — this time aiming to bring some smarts to Camera Serial Interface (CSI) camera modules. "Why [did] we do this board? We want to have intelligent IP camera among our tools and we put features which are necessary to fit our potential projects," the company explains of its motivation. "This board have also potential for Voice over IP, Video over IP, security, home remote monitoring etc. We want to build intelligent camera solution which can be powered by PoE and can work with both wired and wireless Ethernet connection."

The initial board design is based around the Allwinner S3 system-on-chip (SoC), which features an Arm Cortex-A7 CPU running at 1.2GHz. An X-Powers AXP209 power management unit (PMU) provides support for charging and monitoring a lithium polymer (LiPo) battery, while there's 1GB of DDR3 memory running at 1,333MHz, a Fast Ethernet (100Mb/s) port with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) option, and a Realtek RTL8723BS Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module.

For audiovisual connectivity, the board includes analogue audio in and out, a Camera Serial Interface (CSI) port, and a secondary port mimicking the pin-out required for the Raspberry Pi Camera Module family. There's also an LCD connector, compatible with the company's own LCD-OLinuXino display module — and it's all packed into a compact 60x50mm (2.36x2.19") footprint.

The design isn't finalised, however. In addition to accepting comments on the company blog, Olimex has uploaded the schematic and component list to GitHub and is requesting comments ahead of routing and initial production. As with the company's other designs, the hardware is licensed under the CERN Open Hardware Licence (OHL) v1.2, while the software is covered under the GNU General Public Licence v3.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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