Firefly Dual-Lens Cameras Pack Arm, RISC-V, VPU, and NPU Cores for Computer Vision at the Edge

With one visible-light and one infrared camera module, this dual-lens system comes with some impressive performance claims.

Embedded specialist Firefly has launched a pair of all-in-one dual-lens visible-and-IR camera modules with on-board neural processing unit (NPU) accelerator offering up to 2 TOPS of compute for edge AI.

"WDR [Wide Dynamic Range] Dual-Lens Camera Module, equipped with high-performance AI intelligent vision processor, has powerful AI computing performance, supports various AI frameworks and human detection with high recognition accuracy," Firefly writes of its launch, which was brought to our attention by CNX Software. "It is suitable for face recognition, gate access control, gesture recognition, expression recognition, face attribute analysis, etc. Abundant resources facilitate secondary development and help the project to be implemented quickly."

The new camera modules are available in two variants. The first is powered by a Rockchip RV1109 system-on-chip with a 1.5GHz dual-core Arm Cortex-A7 CPU and 400MHz RISC-V coprocessor, a 2D-capable graphics processor, a vision processing unit (VPU) offering H.264/H.265 encode at up to 2,688x1,520 plus 1,280x720 at 30 frames per second from each camera module, and a neural processing unit (NPU) with up to 1.2 TOPS of integer compute.

The second model offers the more powerful RV1126, which swaps the dual-core Arm out for a quad-core Arm Cortex-A7, increases the VPU encode and decode to support up to 4K from the visible-light camera module, and improves the NPU performance to 2 TOPS. Either variant can be specified with 1GB or 2GB of DDR4 memory, and 8GB or 16GB of eMMC 4.51 embedded storage.

The camera modules are the same regardless of model chosen: One camera sensor offers visible-light recording, while the other uses RGB. Both output RAW data over a MIPI interface with a claimed 70x62x38° field of vision. According to the company's internal testing, a 10,000-strong dataset of facial recognition data allows the device to operate with a 99 percent accuracy for unmasked individuals and 95 percent accuracy for masked individuals with a 23ms detection and 7ms tracking time.

Both camera models are now available starting at $89, with more information found on the Firefly website.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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