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Late May Status Update

Posted by Kwabena Agyeman on

Hi Everyone!

Here's what's been happening in the last two weeks:

SparkFun Distribution

The OpenMV Cam M7 is available for sale at SparkFun now! When the product went live last week over 200 OpenMV Cams were sold on their website. Not only that, but, folks cleaned out our store too.

You can still buy OpenMV Cam M7s from our distributors around the world but we're sold out of cameras (except for a small stock of cameras reserved for replacements).

Anyway, we're leveling up production to meet the demand. We've started manufacturing again to build 2500 OpenMV Cam M7s with MacroFab. We expect to have more cameras in stock by the start of August. Until then you can pre-order from our website.

Normally the lead-time for building the above amount of OpenMV Cams would be longer but we placed the order for 2.5K OV7725 chips and STM32F765VI chips (i.e. the long lead-time components) more than 2 months ago.

Faster FPS

So, the OV7725 supports faster image read outs when the resolution is set to anything equal to or below QVGA. This allows us to DOUBLE the FPS of the camera at resolutions equal to or below QVGA. This fix, along with pushing the camera's PLL a little more allow us to get some massive FPS bumps.

For those interested, the OV7725 camera basically generates a stream of images that are sent to the STM32F7 chip at 120 FPS for <= QVGA and 60 FPS for > QVGA. When snapshot() is called we wait and grab the next image in the stream of images and store that image in RAM. Since images are not stored in a FIFO you're always processing the latest image. However, this also means that if your code takes too long in your main loop you miss the next frame and have to wait for the next frame afterward. So, with a higher image readout speed your OpenMV Cam now spends less time waiting for new images which increases the FPS.

Anyway, so, how much of of a boost are we talking about (w/ FB disabled on the M7)?

  • Grayscale Color Tracking QVGA ->56 FPS
  • Grayscale Color Tracking QQVGA -> 85 FPS
  • RGB565 Color Tracking QVGA -> 56 FPS
  • RGB565 Color Tracking QQVGA -> 85 FPS

Yeah! You can try out the firmware for the M7 here.

Obviously, the more complex the algorithm the less this speed boost will help - i.e. with AprilTags. But, for simple stuff like finding blobs and lines you should see a lot more speed.


Finally, I've relocated to San Francisco from Atlanta! OpenMV LLC will still remain in a virtual PO box in Atlanta but I'm in the Bay Area now.

Best regards,