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New programmable multi-camera CoaXPress frame grabber

24 May 2018

The new microEnable5 marathon VCX-QP frame grabber from Silicon Software allows up to four CoaXPress cameras to be connected simultaneously with a bandwidth of 25 Gbit/s. An on-board FPGA vision processor is fully programmable using VisualApplets for high performance image processing.

Fully compatible with Windows 10, this new board is the latest addition to the microEnable5 marathon family of PCI Express x4/Gen2 frame grabbers. It supports all CoaXPress (CXP) configurations (CXP-1 to CXP-6) according to version 1.1. The latest runtime 5.5 software includes a GenTL producer. This allows users to configure, run and update all the CoaXPress cameras connected to the board with any GenTL compliant imaging SDK (such as CVB, Halcon or Matlab).

The microEnable5 marathon VCX-QP frame grabber is configured for speed. DMA1800 technology allows data transfers up to 1.8 GB/s to be achieved. This ensures the acquisition of the maximum amount of data from the CXP cameras attached for real-time image processing with very low latency. In this way, users can enjoy the full benefits offered by CXP cameras, including high speed data transfer over distances of more than 100 metres. Intelligent image pre-processing can be used to reduce the amount of image data for further processing.

Key to the performance of the frame grabber is programmable image processing using an on-board vision FPGA processor with Visual Applets, thereby significantly reducing the load on the host PC’s CPU. Visual Applets is an integrated development environment for real-time applications and has been used in numerous industrial applications in a variety of industries.

Visual Applets represents FPGA programming using data flow models on a graphical user interface. This approach makes it easy for hardware and software developers and application engineers to create applet designs for complex image processing tasks quickly and easily — even with no hardware programming experience.

Visual Applets provides access to over 200 operators, grouped in libraries. This allows applet designs to be generated for almost all demands in image processing. All programmed applications are carried out on the FPGA hardware in real-time. STEMMER IMAGING is a certified Visual Applets partner, and so can provide a service to create specific Applets for our customers.

Additional functionality of the microEnable5 marathon VCX-QP frame grabber includes:

  • GPIO: up to 8in/8out, TTL or opto-coupled
  • On-board trigger with programming options
  • 2 GByte onboard RAM
  • Supports STEMMER IMAGING’s Common Vision Blox imaging toolkit
  • Versatile application and industry usage
  • Power over CoaXPress

The board is ideally suited to demanding applications in industrial imaging, aerospace and medical technology.