Running 8 Camera Modules Simultaneously on Jetson Xavier NX

Published by Lee Jackson on

How to Connect 8 Cameras to Your Nvidia Jetson NX Through The MIPI CSI-2 Interface

octopus 8 camera system for Nvidia Jetson Nano and nx

Getting multiple cameras to work on Jetson NX isn’t something new, we’ve done putting 4 cameras to the dev kit, we’ve also managed to have all of them synchronized. We also theorized how the two camera ports can be fully leveraged, whether NX can handle more than 4 cameras, and what you may achieve with so many cameras.

Well, we’ve finally validated our own hypothesis. And it turns out an octopus-like camera cluster works perfectly and looks pretty amazing on the NX.

What you need:

  • 8 x Arducam Cameras
  • 1 x Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX
  • 2 x Arducam Camarray HAT

What you get:

  • 8 camera modules working with frame-level synchronization.
  • Flexible frame-stitching with any set/all of the cameras.
  • A huge selection of cost-effective image sensors.
  • RAW8/RAW10 output with 5120 x 800 resolution at an average of 45 frames per second.

A Screenshot of eight cameras working in a stitched view:

screenshot of Jetpack showing live preview from the 8 camera modules f

A sample video of The 8 Cameras Working at the Same Time:

Got new ideas? Or simply want to try this octopus camera?

MIPI CSI-2 Over USB

We built the multi-camera setup with the MIPI CSI-2 interface, mainly for the following benefits:

  • It offers a higher connection speed than the USB 2/3 bus.
  • The power consumption of the entire camera system is much lower than the same system with a USB connection.
  • The overall cost of system design/development/maintenance is also way lower.
  • Camera synchronization with multiple MIPI CSI-2 modules is more achievable and more accurate.

Frame Rate & Resolution Trade-Off

NX has the processing power to handle 8 or even more cameras, but the amount of data coming from those cameras can easily eat up all the bandwidth of MIPI CSI-2, and you will have to lower the frame rates for higher resolutions, or vice versa.

If you want to get the perfect balance without wasting any time and money on a camera set  like this, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • What resolution do I at least need for my application?
  • What frame rate do I need?
  • How many camera modules do I need?
  • Do I want all cameras to be sewed together like the above example?

Can This 8-Channel Camera System Work with Jetson Nano, or…Raspberry Pi?

Although Jetson Nano shares the same carrier board with NX, it’s got much lower specs, so the answer is that this set can work with Nano too, but with this many cameras, performance will suffer.

And Same goes for Raspberry Pi as well.


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