Real-time display and access to frame data is valuable for applications that require instant image information viewing, inspection or additional analysis. Using software development and electronics design tools such as Matlab, Xilinx Tools and OrCAD, we design, develop and build real-time electronics and firmware to meet advanced imaging and non-imaging system requirements.

We are proud to offer the following services for Real-time Electronics & Software:

  • Electronics design for custom cameras
  • JPEG compression engines and algorithms
  • Pointing, acquisition and tracking (PAT) systems
  • Image Processing
  • Panoramic Annular Lens (PAL) image unwrapping


Our scientists are industry leaders in custom FPGA programming and HDL (Hardware Description Languages), providing efficient real-time image processing solutions including distortion and unwrapping corrections. Real-time solutions include tone mapping, color correction, white balance, data compression, encoding and decoding and multi-target trackers, all of which can be used in surveillance, military tactics and entertainment industries, to name a few.


Contrast’s panoramic imaging provides a simultaneous 360-degree field of view, which is valuable for applications such as virtual reality (VR), pipeline inspection, endoscopic exams, surveillance and more. Because PAL imaging puts a panoramic image onto a flat, square image sensor, there are significant distortions present when any part of the image is displayed on a flat screen. Contrast developed an efficient suite of firmware algorithms to unwrap PAL images for real-time display. This includes the ability to remotely zoom or expand the field of view in a real-time, heads-up video display.


Once optical requirements are established, our team can carefully craft printed circuit boards (PCBs) for sensor boards, and also companion mother and daughter boards to perform everything from basic imaging to the most complex image analysis, in real-time or saved for later review. Our camera systems start at the sensor and we work our way through an image processing flow that is specifically designed to each of our customer’s needs.


Contrast has a widespread knowledge and experience in custom adaptation of PAT (pointing, acquisition and tracking) imaging algorithms for unique, real-time applications. Our very own chief electronics engineer, Chris Kiser, has more than 20 years of experience in developing line-of-sight pointing, acquisition and tracking (PAT) algorithms for military, industrial and entertainment fields. We have the ability to design, build, align and install complete PAT systems, including hardware, software and FPGA firmware with robust algorithms to enable instant target detection and target tracking through the most extreme environmental conditions. Our PAT technology has been used in various industries, including beam control systems, high-energy laser (HEL) diagnostics, and laser communications systems for the military.


Low quality images can be a nuisance in the civilian world, but can be downright debilitating in the military or industrial fields. However, having a high resolution JPEG typically requires lots of storage space to host the image. Our custom-coded JPEG Compression Engine optimizes image capture and quality, saving space without sacrificing quality. It is a fully pipelined, low latency color/monochrome baseline JPEG module implemented in Xilinx FPGA fabric. Modules can be configured to reduce resource footprint and control compression ratio/image quality, and are full 1080p video compliant.