Saturday, February 24, 2024

Low-Power Wireless Camera Reference Design

By Nidhi Agarwal

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The low-power wireless camera design suits remote areas, aligns with eco-friendly practices, and integrates with IoT for various applications.

camera

Low-power wireless cameras have emerged as a vital technology in diverse fields, offering substantial benefits due to their energy efficiency and flexibility. These cameras are particularly advantageous because of their minimal power consumption, making them ideal for long-term use in remote or hard-to-reach areas. This efficiency not only aligns with eco-friendly practices but also reduces operational costs. Additionally, their ability to seamlessly integrate into Internet of Things (IoT) networks enhances their utility in smart home systems, industrial monitoring, and urban planning. With the added benefits of portability and reduced infrastructure requirements, low-power wireless cameras are increasingly crucial for applications ranging from security and long-term environmental monitoring to emergency and disaster response.

TIDA-010224, the reference design from Texas Instruments (TI), outlines a comprehensive solution for a battery-operated wireless camera, merging top-tier components in image processing, connectivity, sensor technology, and power management. It utilizes high-efficiency power converters and an optimized system architecture to extend battery life significantly. The design incorporates an advanced image processor and a Wi-Fi connectivity module, facilitating secure, high-quality live video streaming and two-way audio streaming, with features like noise reduction and echo cancellation. Additionally, the design is equipped with infrared (IR) LEDs and IR cut filters, enabling the camera to function effectively in low-light conditions, thus offering robust night vision capabilities.

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In the realm of applications, the design is particularly well-suited for use as a wireless security camera and video doorbell. These implementations leverage the technology’s ability to provide real-time surveillance and communication in a compact, wire-free format, making them ideal for residential and commercial security purposes.

This complete camera reference design is tailored to reduce the development cycle for new products significantly. It integrates state-of-the-art features such as ambient light sensing, an IR LED driver, and a motorized IR cut filter, ensuring optimal functionality for day and night vision. The design includes SimpleLink Wi-Fi connectivity, supporting 802.11 a, b, g, and n networks, which enables users to control the camera easily using smartphones, tablets, or computers over local networks. This connectivity is bolstered by the concurrent multiprotocol feature, accommodating both sub-1 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequencies. Moreover, the power tree is versatile and designed to support either USB or battery power sources.

The architecture of this camera is focused on low power consumption, incorporating efficient DC/DC converters to prolong battery life. The design offers a variety of camera wake-up options, including PIR, sub-1 GHz, or doorbell, adding to its flexibility. Regarding Wi-Fi usage, the devices within the design are optimized to minimize power consumption, achieving at least a 50% reduction in current use during beacon operations and a 30% reduction during video streaming. Sub-1 GHz technology also integrates with door and window sensors, enabling automatic video recording triggers.

TI has tested this reference design. It comes with a Bill of Materials (BOM), schematics, Gerber file, Printed circuit board (PCB) layout, etc. You can find additional data about the reference design on the company’s website. To read more about this reference design, click here.

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