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Products => Thermal Imaging => Topic started by: zxase258 on April 26, 2020, 09:31:47 am

Title: FLIR BOSON 320/60Hz teardown
Post by: zxase258 on April 26, 2020, 09:31:47 am
Recently I got a FLIR BOSON 320 core, which is based on 12um VoX detector technology, and here are some teardown photos of the core.
The image quality of BOSON core is not good, and there is obvious image noise (even if all noise reduction functions are turned on). When the ambient temperature is 20 degrees Celsius, the FPA temperature reaches 40 degrees after 5 minutes boot up ...and so far, BOSON still does not support rediometry.

Note: The last close-up picture was not taken with BOSON 2.3mm lens. I used BAE SCC205 lens.

Title: Re: FLIR BOSON 320/60Hz teardown
Post by: Fraser on April 26, 2020, 10:51:33 am
The Boson promised so much yet it has been a disappointment to many who have tested it.

Could this be the ‘curse of 12um pixels’ I wonder. I know that DRS has managed to produce 12um pixel based cores with pretty good performance but they used hardware enhancements to improve pixel efficiency. This could be about signal to noise ratio at the pixel and ROIC level. Those 12um pixels are, in truth only 10um in terms of the thermal energy reception plate and the inefficiency of the pixel has to be compensated for in the ROIC stage and video processing stages that follow. Signal to noise ratio is clearly still a problem for FLIR in their 12um pixel cameras.

On first look the Boson seems to be an ‘upscaled’ Lepton core but it is a completely different core that uses a very powerful video processor. Whilst that video processor has amazing capabilities, it would appear that they are not being fully utilised yet in the Boson. The down sides of such a powerful video processor are complexity of configuration (for the design team) and self heating of the IC. Powerful IC’s often get quite toasty, especially when deployed in small packages and confined spaces. Not great for a miniature thermal imaging core !

Radiometric thermal imaging cores rely upon excellent thermal response profiling plus fixed and dynamic calibration using temperature sensors and the FFC flag. It is not a simple task to produce an accurate radiometric imaging core and FLIR may be having issues with self heating and accuracy of the FFC flag calibration. If that is the case, we may not see a fully radiometric version of the Boson for quite some time.

Those with a great interest in this neat little imaging core are advised to see one working before spending your hard earned cash. Make sure it can perform adequately in your intended role and remember that it gets hot so enclosure design in important/critical to its correct operation. You may also wish to dig deeper into the back story on the video processor that FLIR are using in the boson.

Title: Re: FLIR BOSON 320/60Hz teardown
Post by: Fraser on April 26, 2020, 10:59:08 am
For those unaware, the Boson uses the very powerful Movidius Myriad 2 vision processor that is now owned by Intel. This processor is also to be found in DJI drones

This is a vision processor with significant capabilities and an excellent reputation. Maybe that is why a giant like Intel bought the Movidius company.

Title: Re: FLIR BOSON 320/60Hz teardown
Post by: Vipitis on April 26, 2020, 11:10:32 am
Thanks for those looks inside. When I looked into this core, the non changeable lens was a turn off for me. But with a shutter installed it looks just fine to me. I am not sure if closing the shutter for a lens swap can be considered but that would make it less risky.

The internal video processing available checks a lot of my list, just recently I found a document detailing what control you get over AGC for this core.

The size and thermal performance is still questionable but must have have it's application: it doesn't fit a phone and the form factor won't matter for an inspection camera.
Title: Re: FLIR BOSON 320/60Hz teardown
Post by: Hydron on April 27, 2020, 09:38:34 am
I have a 9hz one on my desk right now - is certainly disappointing the image quality isn't better, but there are certainly use cases for this form factor. In comparison to a 17u unit you get a very small module size that can be integrated into things like drones, surveillance devices etc, also without a massive lens overshadowing the module size in narrow field-of-view applications (required lens size for a given field of view goes down with pixel pitch). For these applications radiometic output is also not typically needed, you just want to see people/animals etc against the background.