Interfacing Nikon CMOS module with ZYNQ SoC

In my last post I showed a CMOS camera in progress. This time I’m going to deviate from that topic a little bit by interfacing the image sensor module from D5100, the mighty IMX071.

On the same relay board that serves as the carrier card for the microZed, I intentionally included a flex connector for the Nikon module. The connector contains 8 data pairs and one accompanying clock signal, all as sub-LVDS signaling standard. The rest of pins are mostly power switches, SPI for configuration and synchronization signals.


The same connector on the Nikon D5100 motherboard

The great thing about FPGA is its versatile I/O standards. On the ZYNQ fabric side, each IO bank can hosts multiple I/O standards as long as their voltages are the same. Here I combined LVDS25 and LVCMOS25 for control into the IO bank 35. The LVDS25 is required to enable 100 Ohm differential ODT (On Die Termination). A simplified block design is shown below. A 2.5V to 1.8V logic shifter was omitted.


The LVDS clock signal drives the entire logic fabric, which includes 2 major components. First, a signal receiver/decoder that writes data into a FIFO. The the AXI-DMA will transfer the data from FIFO into the DDR3 memory on the processor side through the AXI-HP port. Secondly, a sensor driver responsible for generating the correct line synchronization pulses for the sensor. The driver is configured through the AXI-GP port by the program running on PS.

All things connected, we have microZed stacked on top of my relay board, a D5100 CMOS module on top right and its DCDC power board on bottom right. Upon power up, the logic will load the bitstream configuration. Once this is done the program running on ZYNQ ARM processor will configure the system, interrupts and PS IO port. Then the sensor will light up followed by the register setting sequence. The final step is the actual synchronization driving and DMA run. After data acquisition is completed, the program writes the image from RAM to SD card.


A decoded test image (lens not attached) between vertical blanking regions

We are currently designing the full product! I’ll keep posted!