This page gives a basic description of Video Input Port (VIP) hardware, the Linux kernel driver (ti-vip) and various TI boards which uses VIP. The technical reference manual (TRM) for the SoC in question, and the board documentation give more detailed descriptions.

Release Applicable

This page applies to TI’s v4.4 kernel. Although most of it is also applicable to TI’s v4.1 and v3.14 kernel.

Supported Devices

The VIP IP is only available on the following TI SoCs or SoC families:

  • AM5x
  • DRA7x

Hardware Architecture

On supported SoCs the Video Input Port (VIP) module is used for video capture from video encoder/decoder and camera sensor.


VIP Instance block diagram

VIP instance has two slices each having one 24/16/8 bit port and one 8 bit video port. Each slice has a color space converter block, a scaler block and a pair of down-sampler block. A common VPDMA block is used for writing frames to memory. VIP Parser supports video capture from discrete sync / embedded sync, YUV / RGB format video sources. It calculates the frame size based on the count of clocks in hsyncs(width) and count of hsyncs in vsyncs(height). The complex data path configurability allows to have up to four parallel ports captures from one instance. One port per slice can utilize the inline CSC and/or SC block at a time. VPDMA block has a TI proprietary custom programmable processor. A custom firmware is needed for this custom processor. VPDMA programming is descriptor based. It allows to setup, configure, control, abort DMA transactions from different channels to and from memory. VPDMA needs physically contiguous buffers for capture. It also supports addressing in the TILER space.

SoC Hardware Feature

  • AM572x/DRA74x/DRA75x
    • VIP1 and VIP2 instance each supporting up to
      • Two separate 24-bit video ports for parallel RGB/YUV/RAW (or BT656/1120) data, up to 165 MHz
      • Two separate 8-bit video ports for YUV/RAW (or BT656) data, up to 165 MHz
    • VIP3 instance supporting up to
      • Two separate 16-bit video ports for parallel RGB/YUV/RAW (or BT656/1120) data, up to 165 MHz
  • AM571x/DRA72x
    • VIP1 instance supporting up to
      • Two separate 24-bit video ports for parallel RGB/YUV/RAW (or BT656/1120) data, up to 165 MHz
      • Two separate 8-bit video ports for YUV/RAW (or BT656) data, up to 165 MHz

Driver Architecture

The VIP driver is a video capture driver built around the V4L2 framework and is located in the directory drivers/media/platform/ti-vpe/ in the kernel tree.
It is co-located with the VPE Mem-2-mem driver as it shares the VPDMA, color space converter (CSC) and scaler (SC) subcomponents with it.

Linux kernel driver for the VIP is implemented as per the V4L2 standard for capture devices. VIP driver is responsible only for the programming of the VIP device. For programming external video devices, we need a V4L2 subdevice driver which is used in conjunction with the V4L2 driver. It also uses some of the helper kernel libraries videobuf2 (VB2) for common buffer operations, queue management and memory management.

V4L2 endpoint device tree bindings

Different camera / video sources have different configuration parameters when interfacing with the VIP video ports. Common interfacing properties like Hsync, Vsync, Pclk polarities can be different across different devices. V4L2 endpoint allows to describe these as part of device tree definition. This makes the VIP driver generic enough to have no dependency on the camera device. It also provides the flexibility to work with new cameras by doing simple device tree modifications.

Following is an example showcasing the DT entries of VIP device node and its usage when interfacing different video sources.

VIP device definition Camera device definition
vip1 {
    #address-cells = <1>;
    #size-cells = <0>;
    status = "okay";
    ports {
        vin1a: port@0 {
             reg = <0>;
             #address-cells = <1>;

             #size-cells = <0>;
             status = "okay";
             endpoint@0 {
                 remote-endpoint = <&cam1>;

        vin2a: port@2 {
             reg = <2>;
ov10633@37 {
    compatible = "ovti,ov10633";
    reg = <0x37>
    port {
        cam1: endpoint {
            remote-endpoint = <&vin1a>;
            hsync-active = <1>;
            vsync-active = <1>;
            pclk-sample = <0>;


V4L2 asynchronous subdevice registration

Each camera device that VIP driver communicates to is modelled as a V4L2 subdevice. In the probe sequence, VIP and camera drivers are probed at different time. V4L2 async subdevice binding helps to bind the VIP device and the camera device together. VIP driver looks for the camera entries in the endpoints and registers (v4l2_async_notifier_register) a callback if any of the requested devices become available. vip_async_bound implements the priority based binding which allows to have multiple cameras muxed against same video port. The device tree order determines which of these gets picked up by the driver. Note that the V4L2 g/s_input ioctls are not supported, userspace won’t be able to select specific camera with these ioctls.

Of course the target subdevice driver also needs to support the asynchronous registration framework. On top of this the subdevice driver must implements the following ioctls for the handshake with the VIP driver to work properly:

  • get_fmt()
  • set_fmt()
  • enum_mbus_code()
  • enum_frame_sizes()
  • s_stream()

Driver Features

Note: this is not a comprehensive list of features supported/not supported.

Supported Features

  • VIP input Pixel formats
    • Sub device is expected to support one of the below format. Only YUV422 interleaved format arranged as UYVY is supported in YUV mode. This restrictions in pixel arrangements is to take care of silicon errata i839 guidelines.
    • The data formats mentioned in parenthesis in below table is in V4L2 Media Bus Format.
      • For instance, a format where pixels are encoded as 8-bit YUV values downsampled to 4:2:2 and transferred as 2 8-bit bus samples per pixel in the U, Y, V, Y order is named as MEDIA_BUS_FMT_UYVY8_2X8.
    • The data bus width can be 8 bit or 16 bit wide when capturing in UYVY mode.
      • Default bus width configuration is 8 bit. When using 16 bit wide bus, specify the bus width in dts file as bus-width = <16>;

YUV RGB RAW Bayer 8-bit
UYVY (UVYV8_2x8) RGB24 (RGB888_1X24) BGGR8 (SBGGR8_1X8)
  RGB32 (ARGB8888_1X32) GBRG8 (SGBRG8_1X8)
    GRBG8 (SGRBG8_1X8)
    RGGB8 (SRGGB8_1X8)

Table: Supported Input Pixel Format in FOURCC and V4L2 MEDIA_BUS_FMT

  • Supported VIP output pixel formats
    • Runtime pixel format availability is based on the sub-device capability. Use yavta –enum-formats /dev/video1 to get an accurate list.
YUV RGB RAW Bayer 8-bit
NV12 RGB3 BA81

Table: Supported Output Pixel Format

  • Scaling (only available with YUV format)
    • Down-scaling only (will use the closest native resolution larger than the desired frame size)
    • Down-scaling ratio limitations -
      • Horizontal - up to 1/8th
      • Vertical - up to 3/16
  • Color Space Conversion
    • YUV to RGB (tested)
    • RGB to YUV (untested)
  • V4L2 single-planar buffers and interface
  • Supports MMAP buffers (allocated by kernel from global CMA pool) and also allows to export them as DMABUF
  • Supports DMABUF import (Reusing buffers from other drivers)
  • Discrete Sync capture
  • Embedded Sync capture in 8-bit mode
  • Multi-channel capture when using embedded sync

Unsupported Features/Limitations By VIP Driver

  • Media Controller Framework
  • Cropping/Selection ioctls
  • TILER memory space
  • 16 bit embedded capture
  • 16 bit RAW capture
  • YUV444 Input format
    • YUV444 mode is similar to RGB24 mode. Driver can be modified to enable YUV44 mode by referring to the RGB24 settings in vip.c file
  • Input format capture for YUV422 mode in arrangements other than UYVY
    • Refer to the settings of Raw Bayer input format in vip.c file to enable other YUV input mode capture
  • Maximum capture resolution restricted to 2048x1536
  • HSYNC and Discrete Basic Mode set as 1 are hard coded in the driver and not controlled through dts entries. VIP driver register settings will need changes if the signals used for capture are DE (ACTVID) and/or Discrete Basic Mode set as 0.

Hardware Limitations


VIP Slice

  • CSC, SC and/or DS processing in discrete sync mode is supported only for following combination -
    • Input as RGB or UYVY format and output in supported YUV format
  • CSC, SC and/or DS processing is not supported for embedded sync input in multiplexed source mode
  • CSC and SC can not be used simultaneously by port A and port B of a Slice. For example, if port A is using CSC, then port B can only use SC but not CSC
  • Maximum input resolution when using SC is 2047x2047 pixels (irrespective of pixel size).
  • Maximum capture width when not using scaling is 8K bytes. This translates to maximum frame width of -
    • 4K when capturing in YUV422 mode (2 bytes/pixel)
    • 2.2K when capturing in RGB24 mode (3 bytes/pixel)
    • 8K when capturing as Raw Bayer 8-bit or other format treated as 1 bytes/pixel
  • No restrictions on height of capture video

Driver Configuration

Kernel Configuration Options

ti-vip supports building both as built-in or as a module.

ti-vip can be found under “Device Drivers/Multimedia support/V4L platform devices” in the kernel menuconfig. You need to enable V4L2 (CONFIG_MEDIA_SUPPORT, CONFIG_MEDIA_CAMERA_SUPPORT) and then enable V4L platform driver (CONFIG_V4L_PLATFORM_DRIVERS) before you can enable ti-vip (CONFIG_VIDEO_TI_VIP).

Driver Usage

Loading ti-vip

If built as a module, you need to load all the v4l2-common, videobuf2-core and videobuf2-dma-contig modules before ti-vip will start.

Using ti-vip

When ti-vip is enabled, the capture device will appear as /dev/videoX. Standard V4L2 user space applications can be used as long as the capability of the application matches.

  • dmabuftest example Use VIP to capture a 1280x800 YUYV video stream and display it on an HDMI display using DMABUF buffers.
dmabuftest -s 36:1920x1080 -c 1280x800@YUYV -d /dev/video1
  • yavta example Capture 800x600 YUYV video stream to file.
yavta -c60 -fYUYV -Fvout_800x600_yuyv.yuv -s800x600 /dev/video1

dmabuftest can be found from:


yavta can be found from:



As ti-vip driver is based on the V4L2 framework, framework level tracing can be enable as follows:

  • echo 3 >/sys/class/video4linux/video1/dev_debug This allows V4L2 ioctl calls to be logged.
  • echo 3 > /sys/module/videobuf2_core/parameters/debug This allows VB2 buffers operation to be logged.

In addition ti-vip also has specific debug log which can be enabled as follows:

  • echo 3 > /sys/module/ti_vip/parameters/debug

Troubleshooting common capture problem

Bootup/Probe checks

First thing to look for is if the video devices are created or not; Check the bootlog for prints in the kernel bootlog.

Check device probe status
dmesg | grep ov1063x
dmesg | grep video

Depending on the camera connected, the following prints can confirm the probe being successful.

Bootlog print Result
ov1063x 1-0037: ov1063x Product ID a6 Manufacturer ID 33 Onboard camera probe success
ov1063x X-00XX: Failed writing register 0x0103! Camera not connected

No video captured

When the capture application is launched, it is expected to start video capture and display frames on to display. Sometimes, no video is not displayed on the screen. To identify this being an issue with capture, simple test can be done. Each VIP slice has a dedicated interrupt line. If the capture is successful, the interrupt count should increase periodically.

Check interrupts to confirm capture failure
cat /proc/interrupts | grep vip
362:        941          0       GIC 102  vip1-s0
363:        183          0       GIC 101  vip1-s1
364:        241          0       GIC 100  vip2-s0
365:          0          0       GIC  99  vip2-s1
366:         46          0       GIC  98  vip3-s0
367:          2          0       GIC  97  vip3-s1

In the above example, one can conclude that

  • Capture from Vin1, Vin2, Vin3, Vin5 is working fine.
  • Vin4(vip2-s1) capture was never attempted.
  • Vin6(vip3-s1) capture is failing (Note that first two interrupts occur even if the camera isn’t connected. Refer VPDMA fifo)

Note that the IRQs are shared for different ports of same slice. This means, vip1-s0 line will carry interrupts from both vin1a and vin1b. This test can be used when only one of the port is in use.

VIP Parser is not able to detect the video

Most of the time, external factors cause this failure. For a new board bringup, this is the most common issue. Following are the common root causes.
As soon as the video port detects the sync signals, parser updates the detected video size in the PARSER_SIZE register. This is useful for finding out wheather the video signals are getting to the VIP port or not. Note that, the parser size is calculated only based on the relative toggling of pclk, hsync, vsync. Also, the size includes any blanking data available in the stream. Following checks ensure if the video is detected by the video port
Video Port Parser size register Parser config register
vin1a 0x48975530 0x48975504
vin1b 0x48975570 0x4897550C
vin2a 0x48975A30 0x48975A04
vin2b 0x48975A70 0x48975A0C
vin3a 0x48995530 0x48995504
vin3b 0x48995570 0x4899550C
vin4a 0x48995A30 0x48995A04
vin4b 0x48995A70 0x48995A0C
vin5a 0x489B5530 0x489B5504
vin6a 0x489B5A30 0x489B5A0C

Invalid parser configuration

Depending on the camera used, certain parameters of the video port needs to be configured correctly. Device tree definition (endpoint nodes) is used for specifying these parameters.

Usecase Required parameters
Parallel port Bus width (8/16bit for YUV, 24bit for RGB)
Descrete sync hsync, vsync, pclk polarities
Embedded sync Multiplexing method, channel numbers

To check if the correct parameters are being passed or not, procfs can be used for checking values of some of the properties on target.

Using procfs to read DT params
cat /proc/device-tree/ocp/i2c@480720000/ov10635@37/compatible
hexdump -b /proc/device-tree/ocp/i2c@480720000/ov10635@37/port/endpoint@0/pclk-sample
hexdump -b /proc/device-tree/ocp/i2c@480720000/ov10635@37/port/endpoint@0/bus-width
hexdump -b /proc/device-tree/ocp/i2c@480720000/ov10635@37/port/endpoint@0/channels

Note that some of the integer properties are not printable in ASCII format. Using hexdump gives readability to read integer values from device tree.

Camera isn’t started, pclk, syncs are dead

This is a root cause where the camera board is not generating video signals in the desired format. Subdevice s_stream op is supposed to perform all the I2C transactions to indicate sensor to start streaming. Failing to get the pixel clock at this time indicates some issue in the camera configuration. Most cameras have a power pin driver by one of the GPIO, make sure that the subdev driver requests for this GPIO.
One other cause maybe due to incorrect board mux or pinmux configuration. It does not hurt to double check these.

Video is being captured but image is pixelated or distorted

If the image is pixelated you should double the signal polarity against what is currently set in the DT file. Most often when one or more of these are set wrong the image will get pixelated especially at higher resolution.
If the image is distorted, you should double check that the sensor is generating the expected pixel clock. Also when trying to view the captured video, make sure you use the same frame size as used to capture it.


Can VIP be used as high speed interface to bring any data in?

VIP can be used as high speed interface to bring any data as is (without any modifications) into the device. Following points to keep in mind –

  • Data should be sent in discrete sync mode.
  • No other VIP internal processing blocks like color space conversion, scaling or chroma format conversion should be used.
  • Refer to Driver_Features section if there is need to bring data in resolution greater than the one supported by driver.
  • If the cropping feature is disabled in VIP parser due to the need for capturing larger resolution and if interested in capturing last frame (that could be only frame), FPGA need to send additional VSYNC signal else the last frame will not get transferred to DDR.
  • Add vip_fmt entry in the vip_formats table inside drivers/media/platform/ti-vpe/vip.c per sub-device driver need for ”.fourcc”, ”.code” and ”.colorspace”. Keep ”.coplanar” as 0. Refer to the entries of VPDMA_DATA_FMT_RAW8 in drivers/media/platform/ti-vpe/vpdma.c file for “vpdma_fmt” settings when using VIP slice in 8 bit port mode. Refer to the VPDMA_DATA_FMT_RAW16 format settings for 16 bit mode. Note that VIP driver supports only 8 bit RAW mode. Enabling 16 bit RAW mode capture needs minor driver modifications. If custom entries are not needed, then any of the raw format entries can be used. In that case, sensor driver will need to configure media bus format as ”.code” settings as shown in the vip_fmt.

static struct vip_fmt vip_formats[VIP_MAX_ACTIVE_FMT] = {
        .fourcc        = V4L2_PIX_FMT_SBGGR8,
        .code      = MEDIA_BUS_FMT_SBGGR8_1X8,
        .colorspace    = V4L2_COLORSPACE_SMPTE170M,
        .coplanar  = 0,
        .vpdma_fmt = { &vpdma_raw_fmts[VPDMA_DATA_FMT_RAW8],

const struct vpdma_data_format vpdma_raw_fmts[] = {
        .type      = VPDMA_DATA_FMT_TYPE_YUV,
        .data_type = DATA_TYPE_CBY422,
        .depth     = 8,

What’s the maximum frame rate possible for W*H resolution using VIP?

As mentioned in Hardware_Architecture section, each slice in VIP instance has one 24/16/8 bit port through which data can come in. Each video port can be clocked up to 165 MHz. Assuming 27% left spare for horizontal and vertical blanking, roughly 120 MHz left for actual data. If VIP Slice is configured in 8 bit port mode, then 1 bytes can be brought in per clock cycle. In 8 bit port mode and with 120 MHz clock for data capture, maximum possible capture rate is 120 Mbytes/sec, in 16 bit port mode it will be 240 Mbytes/sec and in 24 bit port mode it will be 360 Mbytes/sec. Now for X*Y resolution, maximum possible frame rate can be calculated using following formula –

FPS = 120 * 1000000 * port_mode/(frame_resolution * num_bytes_per_pixel)

In above formula -

  • port_mode can take value of 1 for 8 bit, 2 for 16 bit and 3 for 24 bit port mode configuration.
  • Frame_resolution is product of width and height of frame.
  • num_bytes_per_pixel is number of bytes per pixel. For example, if capturing in YUYV format it’s value is 2, when capturing in RGB24 format, it’s value is 3.

What is the maximum frame resolution that can be captured using VIP?

Refer to Hardware_Limitations section to understand maximum possible resolution supported by VIP IP. Refer to Unsupported_Features/Limitations section to understand the resolution supported by VIP driver. Driver changes will be needed to capture the resolution beyond the one supported by the driver but within VIP IP limits. Below are suggested modifications inside driver. There may be more changes needed.

  • Change MAX_W and MAX_H in vip.c file per the desired capture resolution.
  • Disable hardware enabled cropping feature inside the driver if the desired resolution width is greater than 4K pixels (not bytes) and/or height is greater than 4K lines.
    • To disable cropping, comment the function call to vip_set_crop_parser() function inside vip_setup_parser() function defined in drivers/media/platform/ti-vpe/vip.c file

Why I am not seeing any interrupt generated from the sensor?

Not getting any interrupts usually means the module is not receiving/detecting video data. To proceed with debugging, probe the pclk, vysnc and hsync signal at the connector. If they look as what you are expecting, then verify the pinmux.

How do I capture 10-bit or 12-bit YUV data?

VIP can capture data in 8, 16 or 24 bus-width size. Configure VIP for 16 bit bus-width size in order to capture pixel of 10-bit or 12-bit size. This includes dts file configuration and pin-mux configuration. Connect the pixel size data lanes from the sensor board to VIP input port. Ground or tie to VDD remaining unused pins. VIP will receive the 10-bit/12-bit data in 16-bit container in memory with 6/4 LSb or MSb bit always being low or high based on how those unused bits are tied. Note that when capturing 10-bit/12-bit data in 16 bit container, you can not use any of the VIP internal processing module like scaling, format conversion etc.

In dts file, specify the bus-width field as 16

bus-width = <16>;    /* Used data lines */

TI Board Specific Information

None at this time.