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The high-speed CoaXPress interface gathers speed

19 May 2014

The CoaXPress Standard for the high-speed transmission of image data was published in December 2010 and is distinguished by simple coaxial cables which allow the high-speed transmission of image data over long distances. The manufacturers of cameras and frame grabbers have now presented first products with this high performance interface.

Data rates of up to 6.25 Gbit/s via a simple coaxial cable, the simultaneous transmission of control and trigger data between frame grabber and camera at up to 20.8 Mbit/s, power supply with a performance up to 13 W via the coaxial cable direct to the camera and cable lengths up to 100 metres in CX-1 mode – these are the main features of the CoaXPress interface according to the current CoaXPress standard 1.1. This makes CoaXPress one of the most powerful transmission technologies in image processing.

As a special feature, CoaXPress stipulates GenICam GenTL-implementation for the software support and checking of the terminal equipment and is thus the first standard in industrial image processing to offer a standardised software interface.

Some manufacturers of industrial cameras and frame grabbers have since integrated the powerful CoaXPress technology in their products and are bringing these onto the market. Our Danish partner JAI is currently in the running with two cameras with CoaXPress interfaces, the JAI Elite EL-2800 and the JAI Spark SP-5000.

The 2.8 megapixel CCD camera JAI?Elite EL-2800 is available as a monochrome and a colour version (EL-2800M-CXP and EL-2800C-CXP respectively). Both are based on the Sony ICX674 sensor with EXview?HAD?CCD?II technology and offer excellent sensitivity, optimised NIR response, reduced smear behaviour, greater quantum efficiency and image homogeneity with simultaneous minimisation of light scatter and read-out noise. The full resolution of 1920 x 1440 pixels is transmitted at 54.7 images/s in 8, 10 or 12 Bits, which makes the EL-2800 the fastest industrial camera with this sensor at the present time.

The new high-speed cameras of the Spark SP-5000 series by JAI are equipped with a two-channel CoaXPress interface and currently allow the highest data rate of all JAI area scan cameras. The latest models, SP-5000M-CXP2 (monochrome) and SP-5000C-CXP2 (colour), operate at a maximum image rate of 209 images/s and provide over a billion pixels/s for 8-Bit monochrome or Raw- Bayer configurations. This exceptional performance is enabled by the new 2560 x 2048 Pixel-CMOS-Sensor Lince5M by Anafocus. These cameras provide up to 166 images/s via the 10-Bit output, and 140 via the 12-Bit output. In addition, a freely selectable colour interpolation function offers a 24-Bit-RGB output with 29 images/s at full 5-megapixel resolution and 55 images/s at 1080p-HD resolution. With this high speed and image resolution, the SP-5000-CXP cameras are ideally suited for high-speed inspection in a host of applications.
Parallel to some CameraLink models, Optronis is also focusing on the current CoaXPress standard 1.1 and DIN plug with its CamPerform high-speed cameras. The entire series of cameras is designed for the highest data transfer rates in 2D/3D real-time quality assurance applications. Optronis presently offers four variants of its CoaXPress models which operate with sensor resolutions of between 1696 x 1708 pixels (CP80-3-M/C-540) and 5120 x 5120 pixels (CP80-75-M/C-72). The image rate lies between 72 and 540 full images/s, which in the case of the CP80-3-M/C-540 can be increased to 170,000 partial images/s. With these speeds, the Optronis CamPerform cameras are also suited for use in industrial applications for process analysis and error detection where slower cameras no longer offer a solution.

The first CoaXPress products for image capture are also available meanwhile. For example, Silicon Software offers some of its microEnable?5-Frame?Grabbers with a CoaXPress interface. Presently these frame grabbers are equipped with four BNC camera inputs and, of course, support power over CoaXPress (PoCXP). And, of course, you can obtain the required CoaXPress cables from us at the quality you are accustomed to from STEMMER IMAGING cable manufacturing.

CoaXPress Standard 1.1 even more robust

Compared to its predecessor 1.0, the current CoaXPress standard 1.1 mainly offers an improvement in the data transmission protocol which results in greater data transmission quality. Version 1.1 is downward-compatible with CoaXPress 1.0. Compared with Version 1.0, the General Purpose I/O (GPIO) was removed from the current version due to lacking acceptance. Another important modification was replacing the present BNC plugs with more compact and smaller DIN plugs. This way it is also possible to connect the camera and grabber via a single 4-pole plug.

JAI Spark
  • Area scan camera with CMOS sensor
  • Offers high speed and high resolution
  • Various digital interfaces available
Optronis CamPerform

Highly sensitive high speed camera with CMOS sensor and CoaXPress interface.