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MIPI Camera Modules for Jetson Nano

Jetson Nano’s MIPI interface and MIPI connectors

The Jetson Nano Developer Kit consists of two parts: The Computer on a Module (CoM), and the carrier board. The CoM supports high-speed MIPI interface, which is now a must-have for embedded vision applications. The carrier board of the Jetson Nano developer kit exposes the MIPI interface in the Raspberry Pi style 15-pin camera connector. At first, the carrier board offers a single camera connector, but the latest revision B01 added another.

Use a MIPI camera Module on the Jetson Nano

Unlike many USB cameras, MIPI cameras need more than a matching physical connector to work because the camera driver is another crucial part.  The Jetson Nano offers native driver support of the Sony IMX219, also known as the Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 style. You don’t count on NVIDIA to build more camera drivers for MIPI camera modules, because that is really not their focus.

Therefore, if you want to use a MIPI camera module other than the IMX219, the current solution will be building the camera driver yourself or turning to the Jetson Imaging Partners. Either way, there is tons of work to add a new camera.

Jetson Nano is not alone in the camera diversity problem, so does the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi also offers limited camera driver support to two cameras – OV5647 and IMX219. Fortunately, we have solved this issue with the release of the Raspberry Pi MIPI camera module series, and we’ve moved our experiences to the Jetson Nano Platform.

Problems solved with Project Jetvariety

Arducam’s Jetvariety project (short for Jetson variety) wants to solve the Jetson Nano camera issues with a universal solution. Based on our Raspberry Pi MIPI camera projects, we’ve managed to quickly increase the variety of Jetson Nano cameras with our proprietary general-purpose camera solution – one adapter board and one kernel camera driver for all. Now it’s much easier to add a new camera to the Jetson Nano.

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