An Overview of Vision Standards

Are you up to date on the standards driving machine vision innovation? As with any industry that depends on precision engineering and information technology, machine vision benefits from a variety of standards helping to ensure that components from various vendors can be synthesized into high-quality systems.

Let’s review some of the most important vision standards in 2016:

GigE Vision® Standard

This is an exciting standard that provides a lot of the networking punch behind high-speed HD video with modern UAVs. It defines global requirements for device control and video data transfer over the standard Ethernet network, including GigE, 10 GigE, and 802.11 wireless. It’s been around since 2006, and has inspired products including cameras, video receivers, and servers, frame grabbers, control applications, and embedded interfaces.

Thanks to this standard, imaging devices from all compliant vendors work together seamlessly. Likewise, the standard makes it easy to capture the well-known speed, performance, and reliability of Ethernet networks. Imaging and machine vision vendors can make full use of foundational network technology like switches, NICs, and standard cabling, so virtually all imaging applications and hardware will operate effectively on modern networks.

Camera Link® & Camera Link HS® Standard

Cameras compliant with the Camera Link® standard have the ability to transfer data much faster than their predecessors. These imaging cameras use a specialized serial communication protocol that makes maximum data transfer speeds of 3.6 gigabytes per second (Gb/s) possible. This makes them highly effective in streaming video. They’re in wide use for industrial imaging and quality control, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industries.

Compared to the original standard, Camera Link HS® provides even higher reliability with reduced latency and jitter. Camera Link HS® compliant products were first introduced at the Vision 2014 conference in Stuttgart, Germany, two years after the standard was ratified. This standard is intended to take advantage of the ever-growing availability of high-bandwidth systems. It is used in flat panel display inspection and other intensive applications.

USB3 Vision™ Standard

Ratified in 2013, USB3 provides impressive transfer bandwidth – up to 350 megabytes per second (MB/s) – which has helped it gain wide acceptance in medical, industrial, and mass-market sectors. Plug-and-play capabilities have allowed it to supersede existing USB 2.0 and FireWire standards, but products using all three standards can still be found today. Ultimately, USB3 Vision™ will reduce manufacturing and system design overhead by serving as the first major reference implementation for USB devices in the imaging industry as a whole.

Programming interfaces and mechanical design factors are harmonized by the new standard, which defines new transport layer protocols especially for the vision industry.

Rapid Growth Means Increasing Standardization for Imaging and Machine Vision

It's not hard to notice one important factor about these standards: Even the oldest one is very new. With the recent growth in machine vision, it's increasingly important for OEMs, integrators, and others in the industry to stand together behind performance-focused interoperability standards.


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