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Recent advances in CMOS imaging technology enable the creation of single-chip digital cameras that offer system designers fully-digital interfaces, reduced part counts, and low-power dissipation. A PC-based camera system is described using a single-chip camera. The chip produces digital video data that is fed to the host over a standard interface. The host adjusts operation of the camera by setting frame rate, exposure time, analog gains, and color processing coefficients. Frame-rate functions, such as exposure control and white balance algorithms, are in software on the host, while pixel-rate tasks requiring intensive computation, such as color interpolation, color correction, and calculation of image statistics are in hardware on the camera chip.
Date of Conference: 5-7 Feb. 1998