A feature we were excited to see in the SAMD51 microcontroller — the heart of all our “M4” boards — was the inclusion of a Parallel Capture Controller (PCC), a camera interface that can quickly (30 frames/second) pipe images straight into RAM with only negligible work from the CPU. Whenever possible, we’ve designed our M4 boards to make sure all the necessary pins are routed and accessible for this.

One camera that can interface with the Parallel Capture Controller is the OmniVision OV7670. This model is super common and affordable for hobbyists.

While not up to standards we’d demand from a current smartphone or laptop, it’s nicely balanced to the capabilities of recent 32-bit microcontrollers. A SAMD51 has enough RAM for a 320x240 pixel image. Many projects, like basic machine vision, need only a fraction of that resolution.

Now we have an Arduino library to tie these two together, with examples for the Adafruit M4 Grand Central board. But first we’ll show how to modify one of these inexpensive OV7670 carrier boards to interface with Grand Central’s pin headers…

Parts

Items Needed

OV7670 camera modules with the 18 pin, 2-row header can be found on Amazon, eBay, etc. Make sure the pinout matches the camera shown above…occasionally there are incompatible variants. The cameras are sometimes sold in sets of two…which is a good idea, as they’re easily damaged with the wrong voltage or rough handling as we make some modifications…

Adafruit Grand Central M4 Express featuring the SAMD51

PRODUCT ID: 4064
Are you ready? Really ready? Cause here comes the Adafruit Grand Central featuring the Microchip ATSAMD51. This dev board is so big, it's not...
$37.50
IN STOCK

2.8" TFT Touch Shield for Arduino with Resistive Touch Screen

PRODUCT ID: 1651
Spice up your Arduino project with a beautiful large touchscreen display shield with built in microSD card connection. This TFT display is big (2.8" diagonal) bright (4 white-LED...
$34.95
IN STOCK

2.8" TFT Touch Shield for Arduino w/Capacitive Touch

PRODUCT ID: 1947
Add some sizzle to your Arduino project with a beautiful large touchscreen display shield with built in microSD card connection and a capacitive touchscreen. This TFT...
$44.95
IN STOCK

Adafruit 1.8" Color TFT Shield w/microSD and Joystick

PRODUCT ID: 802
This lovely little shield is the best way to add a small, colorful and bright display to any project. We took our popular 1.8" TFT breakout board and remixed it into an Arduino...
OUT OF STOCK
This guide was first published on Jul 28, 2020. It was last updated on 2020-08-03 17:33:53 -0400.
This page (Overview) was last updated on Aug 05, 2020.