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Inova Semiconductors

Automotive Pixel Link (APIX)

Inova Semiconductors is a fabless semi­conductor company and developer of the APIX technology. APIX is a serial high speed Gigabit Multichannel link to interconnect displays, cameras and control units over one single cable.

Rugged Digital HDR-CMOS Cameras Specialized for Automotive Applications Using APIX2 Multichannel SerDes

advanced inova-semiconductors technologies


New modular digital camera module with very light sensitive HDR-CMOS image sensors and excellent thermal and mechanical stability contains INAP378TAQ APIX2 transmitter


INOVA Semiconductors, developer of the APIX2 Multichannel digital serial link for display and camera applications, and Silicon Micro Sensors, a subsidiary of First Sensor, a leading supplier of sensor solutions in the medical, industrial, mobility, and electronic engineering & manufacturing services fields, created in close cooperation a modular camera, the Blue Eagle Automotive Camera Module. The module contains a mega pixel image sensor either from Omnivision or Aptina, an INAP378TAQ transmitter and a cable tail with an automotive HSD connector. It is therefore optimized for easy and flexible integration into automotive on-board networks and driver assistance systems. The two chip design of the camera only contains an Image Sensor and the INAP378TAQ APIX transmitter, resulting in a compact and space saving module solution (24x24mm). The power supply is realised over the APIX link with standard DC power supply components.

First Sensor’s digital camera modules of the Blue Eagle line feature a wide operating temperature range from -40 to +95°C and low power consumption. The cameras are resistant against harsh environmental conditions like mechanical shocks and vibrations. Additionally, the housings are protected against ingress of water and dust according to IP68/IP6k9k. Due to their modular design the digital cameras can be easily customized to fit individual application requirements. The cameras are certified according to the quality management standard for the automotive industry ISO/TS 16949.

The APIX2 link provides a DC-balanced, AC coupled low latency, point-to-point link over shielded twisted pair (STP) cables. Its scalable physical layer provides bandwidth of up to
3 Gbps at lowest EMI. In the 1.5 Gbps mode, used in the camera with Megapixels sensors,  the data can be transmitted over 20m allowing the use in trucks, buses and of course cars. These features enable the real time transmission of uncompressed HD video data without any delay in automotive applications and enable the use of the camera module even in ADAS systems. The camera module can completely be controlled from the automotive ECU via the APIX2 link. For this - in addition to the video transmission - the INAP378TAQ provides completely independent full duplex communication channels. Using the internal AShell protocol, data transfers are CRC protected by error detection and retransmission mechanisms.

Typical applications of the Blue Eagle Automotive Camera Module are lane departure warning systems, occupancy detection, sign recognition camera, blind spot detection, round view systems, and rear view camera. The module is available from INOVA Semiconductors and First Sensor and can be used for development and test purposes or integrated directly into automotive applications.

The camera module is also used in the Camera Application kits (ADKs) of INOVA Semiconductor and there completed by the receiver board which includes the APIX2 receiver INAP375RAQ and an USB link to a PC. The receiver board measures 160x100mm. INOVA Semiconductors offers ADKs for mega pixel image sensor either from Aptina or Omnivision for usage within their respective development environment.