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Stand-alone frame grabber extends CameraLink data transmission distances

30 Nov 2018

The LightBridge 2 ACL is the latest stand-alone CameraLink frame grabber from Silicon Software. This compact unit can readily be deployed on the factory floor to acquire and pre-process images. These can then be transferred over distances up to 60 metres to a remote PC for analysis.

This versatile unit provides the functionality of a classical frame grabber in a robust housing. It is connected to the host PC by an electrical or optical Thunderbolt™ cable using standard PCI Express (PCIe) bus technology. The transmission capacity for image data is 1,350 MB/s in constant operation for a single device or a daisy chain. Using optical high-flex cables a fast, noise immune connection is possible over distances up to 60 metres.

The system allows the use of smaller industrial PCs. This, combined with the use of Thunderbolt™ cables lowers total system costs and has a smaller installation footprint. The Thunderbolt™ optical cables do not take up much space, are flexible, highly torsion resistant and are certified for a very high number of bending cycles.

A FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processor integrated into the device controls the image acquisition and pre-processing. The execution of image pre-processing steps such as image selector, sensor readout correction, invert, offset/gain/gamma correction and region-of-interest greatly reduces the CPU load of the host PC, which then has resources available for CPU-centric image analysis. A number of pre-programmed applet acquisition functions are available for area scan, line scan and frame grabber test.

Two CameraLink camera inputs are provided with Power over Camera Link (PoCL) for power delivery. The device supports all formats of the CameraLink standard, with full bandwidth (up to 80bit full configuration data rate) transfers. For synchronisation and communication between external devices and the camera, a trigger GPIO and an additional GPIO terminal block is provided for 4 opto-decoupled inputs and outputs.

The unit is 100% compliant with Silicon Software SDK and GUI control and service tools. An interface to imaging tools such as Common Vision Blox, Halcon and others is provided.

The compact, fan less, dust protected housing (IP40 pending) with low heat conduction allows easy system integration for a wide range of image processing tasks in factory automation and machine vision applications.

Silicon Software

Mannheim, Germany

Silicon Software GmbH was founded in 1997 as a product development and manufacturing company with focus on the automation and machine vision markets. Headquarters are located in Mannheim, Germany where Silicon Software develops and produces off-the-shelf and customised OEM hardware and software solutions.

Silicon Software Lightbridge

External CameraLink frame grabber box