Adapting new sensors

Sensor Bridge v1.0.0

Hololink software provides tools necessary to control sensors connected to a Hololink device. Supporting a new sensor is usually a matter of creating an object which has methods for the device functions you need, then using those APIs in your application’s operators. Let’s do this with an example MyCamera object, which has a register (0x100) that we use to read the device version.


import logging import hololink as hololink_module class MyCamera: CAMERA_I2C_BUS_ADDRESS = 0x34 def __init__(self, hololink_channel, hololink_i2c_controller_address): # Get handles to these controllers but don't actually talk to them yet self._hololink = hololink_channel.hololink() self._i2c = self._hololink.get_i2c(hololink_i2c_controller_address) def get_version(self): VERSION = 0x100 return self.get_register(VERSION) def get_register(self, register): # write_buffer will contain the big-endian 2-byte address # of the register we're reading. write_buffer = bytearray(10) # must be at least 2 serializer = hololink_module.abstract_os.Serializer(write_buffer) serializer.append_u16_be(register) # send write_buffer to the peripheral device, # and return data read back from it. reply will # be a 4 byte buffer, or None if there's a problem read_byte_count = 4 reply = self._i2c.i2c_transaction( self.CAMERA_I2C_BUS_ADDRESS,, # same as write_buffer[:serializer.length()] read_byte_count ) # deserializer fetches data from reply; this # raises an exception if reply is None deserializer = hololink_module.abstract_os.Deserializer(reply) # Fetch an unsigned 32-bit value stored in big-endian format r = deserializer.next_u32_be() return r

With this, we can create a simple program that reads this version register:


def main(): # Get a handle to the Hololink port we're connected to. channel_metadata = hololink_module.HololinkEnumerator.find_channel(channel_ip="") hololink_channel = hololink_module.HololinkDataChannel(channel_metadata) # Instantiate the camera itself; CAM_I2C_CTRL is the base address of the I2C # controller our camera is attached to camera = MyCamera(hololink_channel, hololink_module.CAM_I2C_CTRL) # Establish a connection to the hololink device hololink = hololink_channel.hololink() hololink.start() # Fetch the device version. version = camera.get_version()"{version=}")

Following the call to hololink.start, the network control plane is available for communication. Sensor objects should follow this pattern:

  • A configure method which uses the control plane to set up the data produced by the sensor. This method is called by the application code.

  • A start method that the data receiver operator calls in its startup, which configures the sensor to begin producing data.

  • A stop method, called when the data receiver is shut down, that stops the sensor data flow.

  • A configure_converter method, which allows the sensor object to configure the next element in the application pipeline. This method is called by the application layer when the pipeline is being set up.


class MyCamera: ... def configure(self, mode, ...): # Configure the camera for our useful mode by putting appropriate values # in the camera registers. self.set_register(...) self.set_register(...) ... def start(self): # Tell the camera to start streaming data out. self.set_register(...) def stop(self): # Tell the camera to stop streaming data. self.set_register(...) def configure_converter(self, converter): converter.configure(self._width * self._height ...) ...

The configure_converter method allows the sensor to coordinate with the next layer of the pipeline, where the raw data from the sensor is handled. For example, in a CSI-2 video application, the raw video data is framed by CSI-2 metadata and stored in an encoded format (e.g. RAW10). Because the converter is a GPU accelerated process, it likely has additional considerations that must be included when memory is allocated for the received data (e.g. inclusion of GPU memory cache alignment). In our video application, the sensor would know what the raw image dimensions would be, and the converter can add to that the space necessary for CSI-2 framing data. Following that, the converter object now knows how to best allocate memory for the network receiver.

The application layer, following the call to sensor.configure_converter, can now ask the converter for help in allocating GPU memory. This memory is then passed to the network receiver operator.

With the camera now configured to send traffic over the data plane, the application can instantiate a RoceReceiverOperator (or LinuxReceiverOperator) to receive data plane traffic to the specific region of GPU memory. Finally, when finishes configuration, and calls our receiver operator’s start method, it will call camera.start, which updates the camera to start sending video data.

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