Article: GenICam - The NEW standard for Machine Vision
The GenICam standard began in 2003 by a committee of the
European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and leading vision product
manufacturers. The scope for the GenICam standard was to provide a generic
programming interface for a wide variety of cameras, irrespective of the
interface technology (i.e. GigE Vision, CameraLink, Firewire 1394 IIDC
etc). The concept was to define a generic set of features to be supported
by cameras so that they can be directly supported by any software that
meets the standard.
GenICam in Detail:
GenICam works by utilising a camera description file in
the form of an XML Schema file which is easily interpreted by GenICam,
as shown in the figure below. The file is located on the camera and when
connected communicates its available features to the software automatically.
At either compile time or run time, GenICam interprets the camera description
file to generate a C++ API (compile-time) or allow the user to enumerate
the features (run-time) found in the file to handle in a generic fashion,
such as displaying them in a GUI. Additionally it is possible to create
a C++ API for a given set of features present in the file to bind at run-time
that can be loaded on-the-fly, making only those features present in the
file to appear as implemented.
Camera description files offer a seamless path between hardware manufacturers
and software manufactures by removing the dependency between them. For
example, the camera description file removes the burden from software
vendors to adapt to every new or existing feature from various camera
manufacturers. Vice-versa, it provides the opportunity for camera vendors
to quickly deliver new feature enhancements without the need to wait for
library support. In the end, both hardware and software vendors can deliver
more cost effective solutions to their customers in a much shorter time-frame
while providing better support.
Benefits of GenICam:
GenICam provides the following benefits to machine vision customers:
- Reduced Costs: The reduction of supporting more than one API provides
increased benefits in both development and support costs.
- Flexibility: Ability to take advantage of multiple cameras, interfaces
and image processing libraries that best match your application.
In short, GenICam offers a seamless interface between your choice of
hardware and software processing libraries to better enable you to deliver
superior solutions to your customers.
Status and Roadmap:
Currently, a maintenance release 1.0.1 of the GenICam standard is available
for download from www.genicam.org.
The GenICam maintenance release ratified the Standard Features Naming
Convention document as part of the GenICam standard. The document defines
a list of standard feature names for GenICam compliant cameras with a
single list for all camera interface types.
The next technical meeting expected to be held in November, 2007 will
address the Transport Layer Interface with the aim of ratification.
Adept Electronic Solution (AES) is a specialist Australian and New Zealand
distributor of machine vision systems and image analysis software. With
a broad range of world class machine hardware and software products, AES
provides a complete machine vision systems solution.
For more information please contact