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More Speed

Posted by Kwabena Agyeman on

Hi folks,

Lots of work got done last month. But first:

GitHub Sponsorship

Do you like how much our firmware has improved since the start of the year? Would you like it to continue to improve rapidly? Well, now you can directly support OpenMV on GitHub.

By signing up as a monthly sponsor of OpenMV you can help pay for continuous software optimization. Your funds will help us retain the skills of professionals like Larry Bank who's been doubling and quadrupling the speed of our code.

Like all other businesses... the economic downturn has affected our revenue - greatly, and every extra dollar helps. Please consider sponsoring us on GitHub.

Firmware v3.6.4 Released

We've been working hard on our sensor driver code to make it a lot faster. Once you download and install v3.6.4 on your OpenMV Cam H7 you should notice the default frame rate jump from 75 FPS to 150 FPS, and on the OpenMV Cam H7 Plus the default frame rate should increase from 25 FPS to 50 FPS.

We were able to 2X the frame rate by rewriting our sensor driver to be able to capture every frame from the camera. Additionally, we're working on double buffering support now to lock in this 2X speed gain for more processing loads.

On the OV5640 driver development side of things we've finally got the camera running at maximum speed. We're able to push:

  • 2592x1944 - GRAYSCALE (1 BPP) @ 15 FPS == ‭~76MB/s
  • 2592x1944 - RGB565 (2 BPP) @ 7.5 FPS == ‭~76MB/s
  • 2592x1944 - BAYER (1 BPP) @ 15 FPS == ‭~76MB/s
  • 2592x1944 - JPEG @ 15 FPS == ~10MB/s

Which is right at the limit of 80 MB/s that the STM32H7 DCMI bus can handle. Also, note that with the new SET_READOUT_WINDOW IOCTL you can reduce the OV5640's field-of-view to massively increase the frame rate to 240 FPS.

Finally, the new firmware updates our TensorFlow code with floating point layer input/output support. Most networks seems to actually run on the OpenMV Cam H7 and OpenMV Cam H7 Plus now. Please try running a model onboard now and let us know if things are still broken.

Anyway, firmware v3.6.4 has been released to OpenMV IDE and you should be able to download and install it easily.

RTSP Support

New in firmware v3.6.4 is RTSP support. If you have an OpenMV Cam H7 Plus with a WiFi shield you can now turn your OpenMV Cam into an IP Cam. RTSP support is implemented through a frozen MicroPython library compiled into your OpenMV Cam's firmware image.

With firmware v3.6.4 I was able to stream 1920x1080 video at 10 FPS to VLC on my computer. Once we get double buffering support working we should be able to increase that to 20 FPS (and maybe higher by setting the readout window).

Also, I haven't gotten a haircut in months.

Anyway, that's all folks! We'll have more updates next month. In particular, a new release of OpenMV IDE with a lot of improvements.