FLIR Tau Feature Comparison

See the evolution of features in FLIR's Tau LWIR uncooled camera cores. Please note that Tau 2.8 is the only version currently shipping unless a contract for a previous version has already been signed.

Release Version Tau 2.0 Tau 2.1 Tau 2.4 Tau 2.7
2.7.1; 2.7.2; 2.7.3; 2.7.4 (see notes)
Tau 2.8 Notes / Comments
Capable of Upgrade to Later Version of Firmware Fast Video Tau 2.0 and later can be upgraded to more recent versions, up to and including v2.8 v2.8 slow video code is not backward-compatible with earlier versions
Slow Video Tau 2.x versions prior to 2.8 can be upgraded to v2.7.4, only See Note
Main App (SW Version) (2.1.1)
(.13, .15, .16, .18) Notes for Tau 2.7 minor releases:
2.7.1 - Bug fixes and improvements;
2.7.2 - Radiometry, AGC Modes, CMOS, BT.656, Focus Metric improvements;
2.7.3 - Bug fixes primarily for 'C' grade cameras;
2.7.4 - Bug fixes and improvements to DDE gain
Firmware Fast Video (2.7.2)
Firmware Slow Video (≤9Hz) (2.7.2)
Firmware Fast: 640 @ 60Hz N/A N/A N/A (2.7.2)
Effectivity Date Oct 2011 Aug 2012 Jun 2013 Jun-2014
Aug-2014 (2.7.1)
Oct-2014 (2.7.2)
Feb-2015 (2.7.3)
Mar-2015 (2.7.4)
Apr 2015 v2.8 is the currently shipping version. Prior releases are only available to OEM customers with dedicated part numbers
Camera Part Numbers (first two digits) 46, 47, 48 46, 47, 48 46, 47, 48 46, 47, 48
66, 67, 68
41, 46, 66 = flag-type shutter
42, 47, 67 = shutterless
43, 48, 68 = compact shutter
Radiometry Limited to Spotmeter & Isotherms for Tau2 324 only New, advanced* features and better system accuracy available for all Tau2 configs TLinear added Fixed Radiometry Mode added for shutterless operation
v2.7.2 added improvements to accuracy and stability of radiometric measurements
*Advanced Radiometry limited to high-volume OEM customers. A special factory calibration is required that is not backward-compatible.
SWIDD 0x8E and 0xE5
Colorization of
Video Output (Look-Up Tables
or LUTs)
Color palette selection
(aka Look-Up Tables or LUTs)
can be applied to analog and BT.656 video
LUTs can be applied to analog, BT.656, 8-bit Bayered/buffered CMOS and 8-bit Bayer/buffered LVDS data 8-bit Bayer encoding on CMOS/LVDS or 8-bit / 16-bit YCbYCr encoding on CMOS color modes Bayer encoding used effective with the 2.4 release
Single Pixel Symbol Resolution
App Note
640x512 for all resolutions Either 640x512 or 320x256 for all resolutions Added selectable symbol overlay in digital output The LVDS and CMOS channels do not include symbol overlay data
Shutter Modes Manual (on-demand), internal (automatic), and external (shutter disabled).
Shutterless cameras (PN's 42 & 47) require an external reference source
Silent Shutterless NUC (SSN) option NUC = Non-Uniformity Compensation
Enhanced AGC Modes and Features First Generation Digital Data Enhancement (DDE) -Second Gen DDE
-Active Contrast Enhancement (ACE)
-Smart Scene Optimization (SSO)
-Info Based Modes
Improvements to DDE gain relative to scene input signal v2.7.2 added improvements for Info-based AGC, Zoom AGC, and DDE
v2.7.4 added improvements to DDE gain
External Sync Mode 30Hz External Sync 30Hz and 60Hz External Sync  
60Hz Frame Rate Tau2 336 and Tau2 324 are configurable as either 60Hz (better motion blur) or 30Hz (better sensitivity) Available for Tau2 324, 336 and 640 PS 3.3.2
SWIDD 0x72
CMOS & LVDS Bit-Width Setting Can be set independently CMOS also includes 16-bit for YCbYCr color
v2.7.2 added CMOS video clock polarity
SWIDD 0x12
Non-Volatile Flat-Field Correction (NVFFC)
App Note
All Tau2 configurations (324, 336, 640) have two NVFFC maps that load on startup if the camera is in External or Manual FFC mode, or when the lens number is switched with the 0x1E command Ability to map NVFFC 0 and 1 to high and low gain for shutter-less gain switching Tau 1.5 has only one NVFFC map
Isotherms Three color ranges Four temperature thresholds (saturation threshold added) Improved stability of isotherm saturation threshold SWIDD 0x23
Electronic Zoom Continuous* zoom algorithm applies to the analog video and BT.656 output data (not CMOS, LVDS) Continuous* zoom can be applied to the 8-bit CMOS and LVDS output data (not 14-bit CMOS / LVDS data) *Zoom fidelity is increments of 0.1X
SWIDD 0x12
Zoom Pan / Tilt (analog & BT.656 video) 40-pixel limit to pan and tilt
when zoomed
Override* command disables
the 40-pixel limit when zoomed
*Contact FLIR's Applications Engineering for info
SWIDD Table 3-5
Low-Gain Mode (enables imaging of high temperature environments) Available for Tau2 324 only Available for Tau2 324, 336, 640.
This feature* not field-upgradable for earlier versions of 336 and 640.
*Extends the scene dynamic range from 150 °C to 550 °C+
8-bit / 14-bit Snapshot / Playback
App Note
14-bit frames of data can be stored and downloaded. Requires Camera Control GUI. Added capability to store 8-bit frames of data with playback feature (without symbol overlay). Does not require GUI. See Application Note describing this capability All stored snapshots can be erased upon command
SWIDD 0x82
Over-Temperature Indicator N/A Capability to signal if the operating temp is higher than the specified range of the core. Status is available via serial command. PS
SWIDD 0x20
Supplemental FFC N/A A supplemental FFC field-calibration may be applied to compensate for non-uniformities introduced by out-of-field radiation. Terms for up to 2 lenses can be stored / selected Supplemental Offset is a correction file stored in the camera to compensate for small differences between External (through the lens) calibration and the internal shutter calibration. Helps significantly for large NFOV lenses. Only supported in Tau release 2.1.1 or later. Requires GUI / Advanced tab.
Resolution Options, 8-bit CMOS & LVDS N/A 640x512 for all resolutions v2.7.2 added BT.656 stretch enable/disable
PS 3.2.1
Resolution Options, 14-bit CMOS & LVDS 640x512, 17µm; 336x256, 17µm; 324x256, 25µm; 168x128, 34µm*; 162x128, 50µm*; 160x128, 25µm
Resolution Options, Analog & BT.656
Splash Screen Display Time
App Note
Adjustable via serial command OEM Feature
SWIDD 0x31
Field Level Firmware Upgrade Fault tolerant: upgrading firmware doesn’t overwrite factory firmware All software versions fault tolerant
Revert Command Applies to all output channels (analog, BT.656, CMOS, LVDS) Revert = flipping the image left-right / right-left about the y-axis
LVDS Digital Output All configurations of Tau2 utilize a 4-pair LVDS interface
(clock, sync, two data lines)
Two data lines allow a uniform electrical interface across all Tau2 configurations
AGC Region of Interest
App Note
Single AGC ROI for each zoom factor, in percentage units SWIDD 0x4C
Auto-Polarity Detection Yes SWIDD 3.1.1
Baud Rate Options Auto-baud detection of either 57.6k or 921.6k. Fixed baud rates of 9,600bps, 19,200bps, 28,800bps, 57,600bps, 115,200bps, 460,800bps, and 921,600bps are also supported. SWIDD 0x07
Temperature Sensor on Internal Front Housing Included on all Tau2 models Temp sensor provides improved radiometric accuracy. Contact FLIR if temp sensor is unwanted