New interfaces faster than ever

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Pressesprecherin: Silvia Stoll, Tel.
+49
-
(0)711
18560
-

2696
, Fax

2460
,
silvia.stoll@messe
-
stuttgart.de




June

2011

No. 4


New interfaces faster than ever


VISION 2011: Special show “International machine vision standards”
to
present
pro
d
ucts featuring CoaXPress and CameraLink HS


Data interfaces always become the focus of attention
among people involved in
the
m
a
chine
vision
industry
, for example at the trade fair VISION 2011, whenever new
attempts at
standardisation are made or
when
new standards
crop up
in the consumer sector. Both are
true at present. The increasingly more efficient image sensors in dig
i
t
al ca
m
eras call for
even faster data transmission methods. To date, CameraLink has been the ideal sol
u
tion in
many cases for high
-
speed applications. However, this no longer appears to be su
f
ficient.
New standardisation attempts such as CoaXPress and Camer
aLink HS
were initiated.

Version 2.0 of the GigE Vision Standard (Gigabit Ethernet) is also in the starting blocks and
is due to
be adopted in the third quarter of this year. Another interes
t
ing area for the
machine vision industry is the extended USB 3.0
interface which is currently making inroads
into the consumer sector. Ho
w
ever, additional standard interfaces do

n
o
t nece
s
sarily make
life easier for application engineers since “every interface has its strengths and weaknesses,
and it is difficult to make

general
statements”, says Rupert Stelz, Image Capture Group
Leader at STE
M
MER IMAGING. The challenge therefore is to find the right product with
the ideal data interface for a specific application.


Experts will tackle this challenge at VISION 2011, the w
orld’s leading trade fair for
m
a
chine vision, which will be held at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 8 to 10
November 2011.The special show “International machine vision standards” in Hall 6 will
unravel the confusion surrounding
interfaces. The specia
l show will be held for the fourth
time and is being organised jointly with the
Automated Imaging Associ
a
tion (AIA), the
European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and the Japan Indu
s
trial Imaging
Association (JIIA). The special show will present specific
applications and demonstrators
under the motto “Sta
n
dards at close hand”. “Visitors will be able to talk directly with
developers, ask them que
s
tions and make suggestions. This direct interaction is unique”,
says Patrick Schwarzkopf, Gene
r
al Secretary of t
he EMVA.


CoaXPress won the Innovation Prize at VISION 2009,
but
the consortium announced the
plans for standardisation at that time. CoaXPress was adopted by the CoaXPress
conso
r
tium in the version JIIA NIF
-
001
-
2010 in December 2010. After a three
-
month
publication period, AIA, EMVA and JIIA confirmed CoaXPress as the intern
a
tional
standard. With the CoaXPress interface it is possible using a single standard coaxial cable to
transmit image data, communication data and control data, as well as the power su
pply
between the high
-
speed camera and frame grabber, i.e. the host. The data transmission speed
per cable from the camera to the host (downlink) is up to 6.25 Gbit/s and in the o
p
posite
direction (uplink) 20 Mbit/s for communication and control data. The
jitter of the interface
is in the microsecond range, and the cable may be up to 100 metres long. “T
h
e development
of CoaXPress is slightly more advanced than CameraLink HS”, says Stelz. This can also be
seen by the fact that the first pro
d
ucts from differe
nt manufacturers are already available and
in stock. For example, A
c
tive Silicon will celebrate a premiere with the first Coa
X
Press
frame grabber in the new FireBird
family
at VISION 2011.


Pressesprecherin: Silvia Stoll, Tel.
+49
-
(0)711
18560
-

2696
, Fax

2460
,
silvia.stoll@messe
-
stuttgart.de


Adimec will
also
present, for example, its dual CoaXPress camera Qu
artz for the first time at
VISION 2011. “Manufacturers of CoaXPress products are currently improving
in
conjunction
with the JIIA the implementation and conformity tests for the products”, says
Dr. Joost van Kuijk, Marke
t
ing Manager at Adimec, Netherlands.


Experts are also vigorously working on the CameraLink HS interface standard. This
sta
n
dard is being promoted by a subcommittee of the CameraLink Committee
.
The tried and
trusted CameraLink interface is available in an extended version 2.0 which
must
ho
w
e
ver, be
regarded

separately from CameraLink HS. CameraLink HS offers a scalable downlink
bandwidth during data transmission from 2.4 to 48 Gbit/s in x1 to x20 config
u
rations and
in steps each of 2.4 Gbit/s. Depending on the speed, the cable may measure 15
metres or up
to 40 metres. The jitter is in the nanosecond range. “We are currently involved in a r
e
search
project which is focusing on extensions of CameraLink HS”, says Dr. Gerhard Holst,
Director of Research at PCO AG. “We b
e
lieve this is vital for the
future”, continues Dr.
Holst, “because fast data transmission is becoming increasingly more important for users of
our cameras and existing sta
n
dards can no longer keep pace. The approach which PCO is
using to transmit large amounts of image data volumes i
s based on Ca
m
eraLink HS, but
with 10 GigE or 40 GigE hardware. The concept must be
extended
easily and sca
l
ably so
that as many interfaces as required by the application can be used.”


The CameraLink HS Standard has not yet been finally adopted. However,
there are already
forerunner products on the market, for example from Teledyne DALSA. The market or
rather the corresponding task with consideration of the advantages and disadvantages will
decide which standard will ultimately prevail. “CoaXPress is more
firmly in favour of the
generic software interface GenICam. The GenICam
-
GenTL interface is mandatory in this
case. In the case of CameraLink HS, it was only agreed to use proprietary software
deve
l
opment kits (SDK) for the software interface”, says Stelz.


Some camera manufacturers are waiting to see what will happen. “We are actively
mon
i
toring CoaXPress and HS
-
Link. Although both interfaces target the eradication of the
limitations of the current CameraLink version, frame grabbers are still r
e
quired”, say
s Mirko
Benz from Product Management at Baumer Optronic. According to the expert, suitable
components are still in a very early state of development whereas CameraLink has been used
successfully and reliably for many years. Benz concludes: “In our opinion,

the proven
CameraLink interface will therefore remain the preferred alternative for the majo
r
ity of
high
-
speed applications in the foreseeable future.”

“We believe that CoaXPress has too many limitations”, says Dr. Holst, “and that
CameraLink HS is very
similar in principle. However, the power supply via the same cable is
an advantage for machine vision applications.” According to Stelz, there are definitely
ove
r
lap
ping area
s between the two new standards. While CoaXPress scores points with its
simpl
e

and

cost
-
efficient cable concept, the end version of CameraLink HS will permit higher
bandwidths and will implement a trigger concept which also allows line camera applications
which obtain their trigger from a central frame gra
b
ber. “I am therefore assuming”
,
concludes Stelz, “that both standards will win through and acquire their market sh
a
res”.


Technical experts will answer questions at VISION 2011, the world’s leading trade fair
,

which has become the annual meeting
-
point for the machine vision industry. T
his high
-
tech
event is aimed at target groups from those industries with an interest in innovative c
amera
systems, v
ision sensors, frame grabbers, illumination, lasers, optics/lenses, optical filters,
accessories, software libraries, application
-
specific m
achine vision systems, confi
g
urable
machine vision systems and complete solutions and services
.

VISION 2011 will also feature

Pressesprecherin: Silvia Stoll, Tel.
+49
-
(0)711
18560
-

2696
, Fax

2460
,
silvia.stoll@messe
-
stuttgart.de


an
interesting and
first
-
class accompan
y
ing programme which will provide further training
for experts and bring their know
l
edge ri
ght up to date.


Suggestions regarding photo captions

Adimec photos 1+2:

The Dutch company Adimec will exhibit Quartz Q
-
4A180/CXP, its
first dual CoaXPress matrix camera, at VISION 2011. The camera transmits 180 frames per
second at a resolution of 2048 x

2048 pixels with 10 bits per second over two standard
coaxial cables with lengths over 60 metres without a
d
ditional repeaters.


Active Silicon photo 1:

Active Silicon will present FireBird
-
Quad CXP
-
6, the first high
-
speed CoaXPress frame grabber in the ne
w FireBird family, at VISION 2011. It uses the
latest FPGAs, DDR3 memory and PCI Express Gen2 interface. Four coaxial cables are
avai
l
able, with each channel operating
at
6.25 Gbit/s downlink and 20.8 Mbit/s uplink.


Teledyne DALSA photo 1:

Teledyne DALSA

has developed the Xcelera HS PX8 frame
grabber with a PCI
-
Express 8x interface especially for high
-
speed applications. This pro
d
uct
will be presented at VISION 2011. The bandwidth for image acquisition is 1.8 GB/s (14.4
Gbit/s) and 2 GB/s (16 Gbit/s) for
data transfer to the host. Xcelera HS PX8 works with
the
forerunner

version of the Ca
m
eraLink HS Standard.


Information for journalists:

You can download the text file, photos of the last VISION and trade fair logos from the Inte
r
net at:
www.messe
-
stuttgar
t.de/Presse.