Standardization has changed that, making life easier for engineers and manufacturers alike. Camera Link became a universally accepted interface in 2001 and is still going strong. CoaXPress (2011), USB3 (2013), GigE Vision (2006) and Camera Link HS (2012) are also now universally accepted interfaces for machine vision solutions. Others such as Firewire have been in the market since the 80's but are being replaced by newer interfaces. Thunderbolt®, an Apple technology, is still on the periphery and not as widely developed or accepted into the market.
Nowhere has standardization been more keenly observed than in frame grabbers. Along with cameras and cables, frame grabbers are essential components in most high-end machine vision systems. Frame grabbers are essential for these high end applications as the data rates exceed anything that can be provided by a non frame grabber solution. They are also required when complex I/O signals are introduced into the vision system. Examples of these are quarature encoders, strobes and triggers of various types.
With the introduction of high-speed communication links like Ethernet, Firewire and USB, pundits forecasted an end of the frame grabber. After all, a smart digital video camera was capable of packaging information into packets for direct feed into a PC's communication ports, so there was no long a need for a frame grabber, right?
Not so fast. For all their hype Direct-to-PC standards are, at best, adequate for lower-end applications. Cameras are evolving at a rapid pace and now produce megapixel images at extremely fast frame and line rates, far exceeding the 120MB/s serial-interface limit. Vision engineers have found that frame grabbers offer advantages that continue to make them necessary, perhaps more now than ever before.
SPECIFYING FRAME GRABBERS
The main component in a machine vision system that determines the frame grabber is the sensor. To find the right sensor, the customer asks themselves three questions about their machine vision solution:
As important as these questions are, frame grabber cost can be as much of a factor as performance. For some, performance is the end-all and as such, they will specify the frame grabber that does precisely what is required no matter the price point. For others, price will dictate just how "exact" they want their system to be, or how much they can operate with certain limitations such as bandwidths and distances.
Frame grabbers are no longer exclusively used in machine vision; they are today an essential component of dozens of industries. It is therefore important that the frame grabber manufacturer is involved in standards committees and other groups monitoring the evolution of this fast-changing technology.
It is equally critical that the manufacturer works closely with camera manufacturers, cable companies and image processing software developers to ensure that the customer will be able to integrate their choice of components with a specific frame grabber. BitFlow has been in the business of frame grabbers since 1993. Over that time, BitFlow has advanced and adopted the various machine vision interfaces to best serve the needs of the customer. The company's frame grabber interfaces now include Camera Link, CoaXPress and Differential, and is coupled with powerful software and APIs' compatible with popular image processing software packages.
Affordable yet powerful, the BitFlow Aon-CXP is optimized for use with the newest generation of smaller, cooler operating CXP single-link cameras popular in the IIoT
BitFlow has been developing reliable, high-performance Frame Grabbers for use in imaging applications since 1993. BitFlow is the leader in Camera Link frame grabbers, building the fastest frame grabbers in the world, with the highest camera/frame grabber densities, triggering performance, and price. With thousands of boards installed throughout the world, into hundreds of imaging applications, BitFlow is dedicated to using this knowledge and experience to provide customers with the best possible image acquisition and application development solutions. BitFlow, located in Woburn, MA, has distributors and resellers located all over the world including Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
©2017 BITFLOW, INC. All rights reserved. All products and names mentioned are the property of their respective owners. While BitFlow has made every effort at the time of publication to ensure the accuracy of the information provided herein, product specifications, configurations, prices, system/component/options availability are all subject to change without notice.