BitFlow Takes Leadership Role in New CoaXPress Technology
Until a few years ago, there were only two choices in camera interfaces for high-speed machine vision applications: Camera Link for higher speeds but shorter cable lengths or GigE Vision for longer cables yet slower speeds. With the deployment of modern multi-megapixel, high-speed machine vision cameras both these interfaces have reached the limits of their capabilities, leaving system integrators searching for a new solution.
"Large amount of high-speed data have put a strain on traditional interface technologies that link cameras to host systems," explained Donal Waide, Director of Sales for BitFlow, a manufacturer of machine vision frame grabbers. "As a result, new camera interfaces were introduced to support the needed bandwidth, as well as to provide more cost-effective, scalable approaches, most promising of which was CoaXPress."
With the launch of CoaXPress at Vision, Stuttgart in 2009, BitFlow, already a leader in high speed image acquisition, decided ot investigate the potential of this standard for their next suite of products. CoaXPress was designed to overcome the limitations of Camera Link and GigE Vision, offering advantages in bandwidth, implementation, infrastructure cost, and system scalability.
CoaXPress's reliance of coaxial cables achieves many goals. For one, coaxial cable enables automatic equalization of losses, allowing CoaXPress to deliver higher performance over longer distances than any other current or emerging standard. Up to 6.25 Gpbs can be transmitted over a single cable. Second, because cabling accounts for up to half of the total cost of a system upgrade, using the coaxial cables already installed in many analog camera systems can save the customer thousands of dollars as they migrate to a fully digital imaging solution. Third, with CoaXPress as the interface, all digital video, control, GPIO, triggering and power can be managed on just a single, flexible and cost- effective 75 Ohm coaxial cable. CoaXPress is highly scalable over single or multiple coaxial cables.
Always the innovator, BitFlow in 2011 introduced its Karbon-CXP line of frame grabbers, one of the world's first to incorporate CoaXPress. The result was video acquisition at blazing speeds, as well as the ability to send control commands and triggers at 20 Megabits per second - all over a single piece of coaxial cable up to 135 meters. Additionally up to 13W of power can be transmitted to camera along the cable. Karbon-CXP frame grabbers are CoaXPress 1.1 compliant, and support from one to four CXP cameras, as well as support up to four CXP multi-links (up to four links per camera).
Last year BitFlow followed up on the Karbon-CXP family with the Cyton™ CXP4 four-channel frame grabber. Key to its success is the incorporation of the Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface on its back-end, an advancement that doubles the data rate of the Gen 1.0 bus for the ultimate high speed access to host memory in multi-camera systems, while using the same compact footprint and connectors.
"Bitflow fully plans to continue to support its Camera Link customers with our Neon and Karbon-CL families of frame grabbers," said Waide. "When they choose to upgrade to the CoaXPress standard, we are here to provide them a simple, inexpensive migration path with our Karbon-CXP and Cyton models."
For more information, visit www.bitflow.com.