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Hi Laurent, Laurent Pinchart wrote:
On Monday 09 January 2012 18:38:25 Sakari Ailus wrote:Hi all, We had an IRC meeting on the new sensor control interface on #v4l-meeting as scheduled previously. The meeting log is available here: <URL:http://www.retiisi.org.uk/v4l2/v4l2-sensor-control-interface-2012-01-0 9.txt> My notes can be found below.Thanks for the summary.Accessing V4L2 subdev and MC interfaces in user space: user space libraries =========================================================================== While the V4L2 subdev and Media controller kernel interface is functionally comprehensive, it is a relatively low level interface for even for vendor-specific user space camera libraries. The issue is intensified with the extension of the pipeline configuration performed using the Media controller and V4L2 subdev interfaces to cover the image processing performed on the sensor: this is part of the new sensor control interface. As we want to encourage SoC vendors to use the V4L2, we need to make this as easy as possible for them. The low level camera control libraries can be split into roughly two categories: those which configure the image pipe and those which deal with the 3A algorithms. The 3A algorithms are typically proprietary so we concentrated to the pipeline configuration which is what the Media controller and V4L2 subdev frameworks have been intended for. Two libraries already exist for this: libmediactl and libv4l2subdev. The former deals with topology enumeration and link configuration whereas the latter is a generic library for V4L2 subdev configuration, including format configuration. The new sensor control interface moves the remaining policy decisions to the user space: how the sensor's image pipe is configured, what pixel rates are being used on the bus from the sensor to the ISP and how is the blanking configured. The role of the new library, called libv4l2pipe, is to interpret text-based configuration file containing sections for various pipeline format and link configurations, as well as V4L2 controls: the link frequency is a control as well; but more on that below. The library may be later on merged to libv4l2pipeauto which Sakari is working on. Both pipeline format and link configurations are policy decisions and thus can be expected to be use case specific. A format configuration is dependent on a link configuration but the same link configuration can be used with several format configurations. Thus the two should be defined separately. A third kind of section will be for setting controls. The only control to be set will be the link frequency control but a new type of setting warrants a new section. A fourth section may be required as well: at this level the frame rate (or frame time) range makes more sense than the low-level blanking values. The blanking values can be calculated from the frame time and a flag which tells whether either horizontal or vertical blanking should be preferred.How does one typically select between horizontal and vertical blanking ? Do mixed modes make sense ?
There are minimums and maximums for both. You can increase the frame time by increasing value for either or both of them --- to achieve very long frame times you may have to use both, but that's not very common in practice. I think we should have a flag to tell which one should be increased first --- the effect would be to have the minimum possible value on the other.
A configuration consisting of all the above sections will define the full pipeline configuration. The library must also provide a way to enumerate, query and set these configurations. With the existence of this library and the related new sensor control interface, the V4L2 supports implementing digital cameras even better than it used to. The LGPL 2.1+ license used by libmediactl, libv4l2pipeauto and the future libv4l2pipe(auto) is not seen an issue for Android to adopt these libraries either. In GStreamer middleware, libv4l2pipe is expected to be used by the camera source component.Should we try to draft how a 3A library should be implemented ? Do you think that might have implications on libv4l2pipe ?
We should, yes. I can't see any immediate effects from that to libv4l2pipe. libv4l2pipe may need to provide some information to the 3A library but that should mostly be it.
The new sensor control interface ================================ The common understanding was that the new sensor control interface is mostly accepted. No patches have been acked since there have been lots of trivial and some not so trivial issues in the patchset. There was an exception to this, which is the pixel_rate field in struct v4l2_mbus_framefmt. The field is expected to be propagated by the user while the user has no valid use case to modify it. The agreement was that instead of adding the field to struct v4l2_mbus_framefmt, a new control will be introduced instead. A control has several good properties: it can be implemented where it is valid: it isn't always possible to accurately specify the pixel rate in some parts of the pipeline. Sensor drivers should provide the pixel_rate control in two subdevs: the pixel array and the one which is opposed to the ISP's bus receiver. The pixel array's pixel rate is mostly required in the user space whereas the pixel rate in the bus transmitter subdev (which may have other functionality as well) is often required by the bus receivers, as well as by the rest of the ISP. Ideally the pixel_rate control is related to pads rather than subdevs but 1) we don't have pad specific controls and 2) we don't stictly need them right now since there only will be need for a single pixel_rate control per subdev. If pixel rate management will be implemented to prevent starting pipelines which would fail to stream in cases where too high pixel rates are used on particular subdevs, the concept of pad-specific controls may be later revisited. Making the pixel_rate control pad-specific only will change the interface towards the user space if the pad where it is implemented is non-zero.I'm fine with that. Let's use a control now, we'll revisit this later if needed.
Agreed. -- Sakari Ailus sakari.ailus@xxxxxx -- To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-media" in the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx More majordomo info at http://vger.kernel.org/majordomo-info.html