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Article: GenICam - The NEW standard for Machine Vision

About GenICam:

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 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.

About Adept:

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 us.



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