July 11, 2017

Current video stream latency and a way to reduce it

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Fig.1 Live stream latency testing

Recently we had an inquiry whether our cameras are capable of streaming low latency video. The short answer is yes, the camera’s average output latency for 1080p at 30 fps is ~16 ms. It is possible to reduce it to almost 0.5 ms with a few changes to the driver.

However the total latency of the system, from capturing to displaying, includes delays caused by network, pc, software and display.

In the results of the experiment (similar to this one) these delays contribute the most (around 40-50 ms) to the stream latency – at least, for the given equipment.

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October 24, 2016

Using a flash with a CMOS image sensor: ERS and GRR modes

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Operation modes in conventional CMOS image sensors with the electronic rolling shutter

Flash test setup

Most of the CMOS image sensors have Electronic Rolling Shutter – the images are acquired by scanning line by line. Their strengths and weaknesses are well known and extremely wide usage made the technology somewhat perfect – Andrey might have already said this somewhere before.

There are CMOS sensors with a Global Shutter BUT (if we take the same optical formats):

  • because of more elements per pixel – they have lower full well capacity and quantum efficiency
  • because analog memory is used – they have higher dark current and higher shutter ratio

Some links:

So, the typical sensor with ERS may support 3 modes of operation:

  • Electronic Rolling Shutter (ERS) Continuous
  • Electronic Rolling Shutter (ERS) Snapshot
  • Global Reset Release (GRR) Snapshot

GRR Snapshot was available in the 10353 cameras but ourselves we never tried it – one should have write directly to the sensor’s register to turn it on. But now it is tested and working in 10393s available through the TRIG (0x14) parameter.

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September 8, 2016

A web interface for a simpler and more flexible Linux kernel dynamic debug controlling

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Along with the documentation there is a number of articles explaining the dynamic debug (dyndbg) feature of the Linux kernel like this one or this. Though we haven’t found anything that would extend the basic functionality – so, we created a web interface using JavaScript and PHP on top of the dyndbg.

debugfs-webgui

Fig.1 debugfs-webgui

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March 18, 2016

NAND flash support for Xilinx Zynq in U-Boot SPL

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Overview

  • Target board: Elphel 10393 (Xilinx Zynq 7Z030) with 1GB NAND flash
  • U-Boot final image files (both support NAND flash commands):
    • boot.bin – SPL image – loaded by Xilinx Zynq BootROM into OCM, no FSBL required
    • u-boot-dtb.img – full image – loaded by boot.bin into RAM
  • Build environment and dependencies (for details see this article) :

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July 23, 2014

Optimization Intermediate Results

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Description

    Running OSLO’s optimization has shown that having a single operand defined is probably not enough. During the optimization run the program computes the derivative matrix for the operands and solves the least squares normal equations. The iterations are repeated with various values of the damping factor in order to determine the optimal value of the damping factor.
    So, extra operands were added to split the initial error function – each new operand’s value is a contribution to the spot size (blurring) calculated for each color, aberration and certain image heights. See Fig.1 for formulas.

Fig.1 Extra Operands

Fig.1 Extra Operands


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July 1, 2014

Defining Error Function for Optical Design optimization (in OSLO)

by Oleg Dzhimiev

Description

The Error Function calculates the 4th root of the average of the 4th power spot sizes over several angles of the field of view.

t

 

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June 30, 2014

Open Hardware Lens for Eyesis4π camera

by Oleg Dzhimiev

initial_design_snapshot_2

 

Elphel has embarked on a new project, somewhat different from our main field of designing digital cameras, but closely related to the camera applications and aimed to further improve image quality of Eyesis4π camera. Eyesis4π is a high resolution full-sphere panoramic and stereophotogrammetric camera. It is a tiled multi-sensor system with a single sensor’s format of 1/2.5″. The specific requirement of such system is uniform angular resolution, since there is no center in a panoramic image.

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December 19, 2012

Sensor+Lens Tool

by Oleg Dzhimiev

There’s a number of online lens calculators already and this one is not conceptually different – the focus is on the current sensor we use and the main feature is visualization done in HTML canvas using jCanvas.
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February 22, 2012

Run ImageJ plugins from the command line in Ubuntu

by Oleg Dzhimiev

1. Get X Virtual FrameBuffer
sudo apt-get install xvfb

2. Launch ImageJ (“cd” to the ij.jar directory):
Xvfb :15 &
DISPLAY=:15 java -Xmx12288m -jar ij.jar -run "TestIJ Plugin"

Comments:

  • TestIJ Plugin is the name of the compiled plugin in the ImageJ menu. No need to specify a subfolder.
  • :15 is an example.

Links that helped:

  1. Source 1
  2. Source 2
  3. Source 3

October 21, 2011

Live USB/CD/DVD

by Oleg Dzhimiev

We made a new Live USB version of Elphel Toolkit.

It is available for downloading here.

Software

It is an entire Operating System that can be booted from a USB drive or DVD (of course you can install it on your computer as well) and comes with all Elphel relevant software preinstalled. As the basis we chose Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support distribution) 32-bit which is supported by its developers until April 2013. Everything described on our Software Kit wiki page is preinstalled. That allows you to update the camera firmware (reflash), play a live video-stream from a camera and also build a custom firmware image for the camera. (more…)

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