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Introducing the OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal

Hi everybody,

We've got a lot of news today:

Introducing The OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal

You can now pre-order the OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal. It's out latest OpenMV Cam which pushes the STM32H7 architecture to the max! It's so good Hackster even did a Spotlight video about it!

The OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal allows you to create mixed color and thermal camera applications for hobbyist or professional uses. It's a great product which we've spent a lot of time developing.

If you've like what we've done with the OpenMV Cam and are a supporter of the project please pre-order the OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal. Your support will enable the creation of future products like support for the FLIR Boson, Stereo Thermal Vision, and FPV Thermal Vision.

Firmware Version 4.0.0 is Released!

Alright, this is a big one folks. Our latest firmware is available for download. We've brought some big features folks have been waiting for years out now:

  • Double/Triple/Video Buffering
  • Bayer Image Processing Support
  • Usable WiFi Debug Support

With Double/Triple/Video Buffering Support all OpenMV Cams (M4/M7/H7) now can process and capture images simultaneously. This feature is enabled automatically for all OpenMV Cams meaning once you install firmware 4.0.0 frame rate limited algorithms will automatically experience a massive increase in speed.

Additionally, for video recording we now support allocating an arbitrary number of frame buffers. Just do sensor.set_framebuffers(10) for example to allocate a 10 frame buffer FIFO to handle the random erase delays caused by an SD Card when recording video.

By default triple buffering is enabled which offers the best best performance. In this mode the interrupt driven frame grabber always has a buffer to store data to while your code is processing one of the frame buffers. However, if you don't have enough RAM for this you can downgrade to double buffering which captures an image in the background while processing the current image. Double buffering only provides increased performance though as long as your algorithm can process images faster than new frames from the camera are generated. Finally, single buffer mode still works which your OpenMV Cam will default to if it can't fit multiple buffers without using up more than half of the RAM onboard.

Last, we finally got the Master DMA hardware onboard the STM32H7 working which 100% offloads the processor from copying image data from camera line buffers to the finally image. This further improves the frame rate on the STM32H7 as the processor no longer has to copy the image data. And... we have further speed performance improvements coming soon. Right now the processor has to handle an interrupt per line from the camera in-order to setup the MDMA transfer. But, we should be able to get MDMA working to completely offload the CPU so that we only get an interrupt per image.

And... we also have non-blocking snapshot support finally. You can register an interrupt handler to be called when an image is ready or poll a flag to let you know when there's a frame available.

Bayer Image Processing Support

Now you can do more things than just look at Bayer images in the IDE. We're going to be slowly integrating Bayer Image support to all functions which don't modify the image in our API. We'll also be introducing JPEG image processing soon too - with hardware decompression acceleration on the STM32H7.

WiFi Debug Support

Finally, we've got usable WiFi Debug support. This means you can FINALLY CONTROL YOUR OPENMV CAM WIRELESSLY FROM YOUR PC USING OPENMV IDE WITH A WIFI SHIELD!!! Please watch the how-to video below:

This feature will be coming soon to the Arduino Portenta H7 WiFi/Ethernet once Arduino asks for it.

Manufacturing Update

So, we've run out of OpenMV Cams in stock to sell on our store. Unfortunately, the chip shortage has made it impossible to buy the STM32H743VIT6. However, we managed to get 3K for building more OpenMV Cam H7 units and we've ordered 8K STM32H743II chips which we expect 2K to be delivered in a few months and the rest to arrive in October.

In the mean-time, we are going to be building OpenMV Cam H7 Plus units using the STM32H743XI package to get something in stock to sell. So, you may see a different hardware variant of the OpenMV Cam H7 Plus sold. Similarly, we are also making a design for the OpenMV Cam H7 with the STM32H743VIH6 (BGA versus LQFP) to make it easier to keep the OpenMV Cam H7 in stock too.

However, while we should be able to get and build OpenMV Cams using different STM32H743 chip variants the OV7725 was EoLed by OmniVision and is no-longer going to be produced. Given this we will be switching the main camera to the MT9M114. New OpenMV Cam H7 units will be called the OpenMV Cam H7 R2. Similarly, the OV5640 is nearing end-of-life and we will be working on finding a replacement for it. There are a lot of FPC modules on the market however for this chip so it's less of a problem sourcing it than the OV7725.

IDE and Docs

We're working on updating the docs for firmware 4.0.0 and we'll be releasing an IDE update soon with new editing features allowing you to finally have multiple python scripts open at the same time. We hope to have a new IDE release out in a few weeks.

Anyway, that's all folks!

Please back the OpenMV Cam Pure Thermal! We need your support!