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Comparing different high bandwidth interfaces for industrial cameras

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Why CoaXPress?

There are often questions about our cameras with CoaXPress (CXP) interface and what the differences are to other interfaces available on the market. We hope this brief article helps explain. With ever increasing sensor resolutions and speed the interface to computer has had to evolve. CoaXPress is part of this evolution. The table below compares CXP-12 (the latest version of CoaXPress) to four other high speed interfaces: 10GigE (standard high speed networking interface), External PCIe (A direct connection to the high speed internal bus of a computer), CLHS - optical (Camera Link High Speed on an optical fibre), USB 3.1.

Bandwidth: Since CoaXPress was published as an official standard in 2011, the interface has become established in the high-end machine vision sector. With the latest version 2.0 (CXP-12), data transfer rates of 50 Gbit/s are possible. This corresponds, for example, to a transfer rate of 280 x 16 MPixel images/sec.

Cable length: Lengths of 40 m and more are standard for CoaXPress and so are long enough for most machine vision applications. When not long enough fibre repeaters are available for longer distances.

Triggering and real-time capability: CoaXPress offers very accurate triggering capabilities over the same signal wires used for image data transfer. Both data transmission and triggering are performed with constant delay times (latency). The trigger jitter (variation in trigger delay times) is practically negligible. This allows for accurate synchronization of multiple cameras and is used for synchronization with illumination or data acquisition systems. The interface is therefore real-time capable, making it ideal for industrial automation applications that require high bandwidths.

Power supply: The camera can be powered directly via the CoaXPress interface. A local power supply is not necessary which simplifies installation.

Processor load and Grabber: CoaXPress requires frame grabbers to be plugged into the computer. The advantage of using frame grabbers is that they remove the processing load from the PC CPU which is required to transfer data from the camera to PC memory. This leaves the CPU free to process the image data rather than get caught up transferring it.

Pre-Processing: Many frame grabbers also offer the possibility to perform calculations directly on the grabber in real time (laser line extraction, blob, compression, etc.) which leads to faster results and accelerates image processing.

Usage: Since CoaXPress was published as an official standard in 2011, the interface has become established and is widely used in the high-end machine vision sector. There is a wide product range with many of our suppliers offering CoaXPress products.

Costs: Prices for a CoaXPress setup are somewhat more expensive than systems that use standard interfaces available on the PC due to the need for a frame grabber. However, if you compare the price/Gbit/s, the cost is quite favourable.

Plug and Play: The camera communicates directly with the frame grabber via the GeniCam standard (standardizes the names of camera features and so allows any software to communicate and control any camera), so no SDK is required for the camera. All setting parameters can be controlled by the GenICam compliant application software via the frame grabber.

• Multi-Camera:
The CoaXPress interface offers the possibility of multi-camera control. For example several cameras can be connected to one grabber. Either one camera with 4 channels, 2 cameras with 2 channels or 4 cameras with one channel can be operated directly on a 4-channel frame grabber.

Need a price or more application information? Please email Adept Turnkey or call our offices

Adept Turnkey Pty Ltd is "The Machine Vision and Imaging Specialists" and distributor of Machine Vision products and components in Australia and New Zealand. To find out more about the CoaXPress interface or any other high bandwidth interface, please call Adept Turnkey at Perth (08) 9242 5411 / Sydney (02) 9905 5551 / Melbourne (03) 9384 1775 or contact us online.




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