Firmware v2.0 optimizes data processing and boosts sensor performance for all sensors
Today, we’re excited to share the official public release of our latest sensor firmware, Firmware v2.0 (click here to update).
Firmware v2.0 is the first major firmware release since the launch of our Gen 2 sensors. The firmware provides new features and a stable platform to support development across all of Ouster’s sensor models.
For the OS0, OS2, and Gen 2 OS1 sensors, v2.0 improves data rate control, helps conserve battery life, and expands the operating temperature down to -40 °C. These three new features are:
- Configurable Azimuth Window
- Standby Mode
- Cold Start
For Gen 1 sensors, v2.0 also delivers an improvement in maximum range and reduces data rates by 75% and 50% for the OS1-16 and OS1-32, respectively.
For the best performance, reliability, and security, we strongly recommend all customers to update to Firmware v2.0. Given the number of safety critical fixes in this release, we will require all customers to upgrade to v2.0 for support requests. All prior beta firmware versions will no longer be supported going forward. Firmware v2.0 is backwards compatible with all current and prior sensor models.
You can check out the new firmware in all the possible sensor configurations by downloading our sample data.
While stability and dependability are the primary focus of our firmware development, our digital lidar architecture uniquely enables us to deliver significant performance improvements in a way never seen before in the lidar industry. Our digital approach to lidar means that the performance of the sensor is driven through the data processing layer of our sensor, unlocking the potential for significant continuous improvements without any changes to hardware.
Now a look into the highlights of Firmware v2.0.
For All Sensors
Our team has dedicated months (and months) of rigorous testing, tuning, and bug-fixing to deliver Firmware v2.0. Here’s a run-through of what’s new with v2.0:
- Define your field-of-view. You now have the option to define and crop out any unwanted portions of the horizontal field-of-view by setting a Configurable Azimuth Window. By limiting data to only a specific region of interest, you can reduce overall data rates and simplify your data processing. So whether it’s a permanent obscurant like a pole or sensor mount, or unwanted data behind your vehicle – just mask it with a Configurable Azimuth Window, your network and processors will thank you!
A Configurable Azimuth Window allows you to define your field of view by removing unwanted angles. Shown above are just a few of the possibilities.
- Standby Mode. Optimize the battery life of your vehicle, robot, or drone with the sensor’s new low-power Standby Mode. Placing a sensor in Standby Mode decreases its power consumption to only 5W, a 70% reduction compared to that of a fully-operating sensor. When in Standby Mode, a sensor is ready to receive TCP commands, but the motor will not spin and the lasers will not fire.
- Safety critical bug fixes and other improvements. V2.0 fixes safety critical bugs that could cause abrupt data loss or data corruption while the sensor is operating. For this reason, we recommend all customers to update to v2.0 to avoid unexpected disruptions. More details can be found in our Firmware Change Log.
For Gen 2 Sensors only
All Gen 2 sensors can now reliably start and operate in even colder environments without any additional configuration.
- Cold Start. With v2.0, Gen 2 OS0 and OS1 sensors can start in temperatures as low as -40 °C. When in these lower temperatures, Gen 2 sensors automatically enter a short warm-up period before operating at full range. For more details on operating specifications, you can download the datasheet for each sensor on our Downloads page.
For Gen 1 Sensors only
In addition to Configurable Azimuth Window, Standby Mode, and critical bug fixes, Firmware v2.0 also delivers range performance improvements for all Gen 1 sensors and data rate improvements for 16 and 32 channel Gen 1 sensors.
Important: Please note that for Gen 1 OS1-16 and OS1-32 customers, it is necessary to update your drivers when upgrading to v2.0. The data structure in Firmware v2.0 has changed to accommodate the data rate reduction, and will break any drivers working on Firmware v.1.13 (and all prior firmware versions).
- Improved precision and maximum range. As part of v2.0, we implemented significant signal processing improvements for our Gen 1 sensors that enable the sensors to detect objects at longer range while improving their millimeter-level precision. To demonstrate this, we tested the Gen 1 OS1 sensor with v2.0 on a 10% lambertian target, outdoors under full sun. As shown in the graph below, the sensor achieves a precision of ±1 cm for ranges up to 30 meters. Beyond 30 meters, precision decays geometrically ±5 cm at approximately 60 meters.
- Reduced data rates, faster data processing. Data rates on the OS1-16 and OS2-32 will decrease by 75% and 50%, respectively. With the introduction of an updated lidar packet structure, v2.0 now removes padded zeros for the OS1-16 and OS1-32’s unused channels. This necessary step will allow us to make lidar packets even more customizable in the future while still keeping data bandwidth low. Existing OS1-64 sensors will have no change in data rates. Learn more about this new data structure.
Left: Lidar packet data structures for OS1-16, OS1-32, OS1-64 on v1.13 and earlier, with packet size of 12,608 bytes.
Right: Updated lidar packet data structure scales down the number of data blocks according to the number of channels.
View our Change Log for a more detailed, technical description of all the changes.
Once you have updated to v2.0, you will be able to downgrade your sensor back to a prior firmware version if needed. However, downgrading to v1.13 requires a configuration reset. See the “Updating Firmware” section of our Software User Manual for details.
What sensor generation do I have?
Find out if you have a Gen1 or Gen 2 sensor by checking the sensor serial number.
- All Gen 1 sensors have a serial number with the prefix “os1-” followed by a twelve digit number
- All Gen 2 sensors have a serial number with the prefix “os-” followed by a twelve digit number
- If you need assistance in determining your sensor generation based on the serial number, please reach out to our support team and we will be happy to help
We’re very proud of all the work that went into delivering Firmware v2.0 - our biggest firmware update ever. The power of digital lidar gives us a unique ability to continually improve the performance of our sensors without any changes to hardware. We have many significant updates and improvements in the pipeline, and look forward to sharing more with our next release.
Feedback or questions? Please send any comments our way!