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Smart cameras are not always the best choice for all applications. Frame grabbers still hold a place in image-capture solutions.
"Although there have been recent advances in smart camera technology, there is continued strength in the frame grabber business model," said Dennis J. Bonciolini, CTO of CyberOptics Semiconductor, Inc., (Beaverton, Ore.), a provider of frame grabber machine vision boards under its Imagenation brand.
"What is seen is that the requirements for quality solutions with good image handling and interface capabilities are still strong in the marketplace. Certainly, there are cheaper solutions, but they typically are not as comprehensive and may not fill all the needs that the frame grabber technology has filled. This technology will continue to fill the medical, military and traffic-control areas for the foreseeable future, less so in the general manufacturing applications areas."
Alacron's most recent addition to its FastSeries family, based on the Nexperia processor, is the FastVault-FL. It is a VME form-factor board-level autonomous frame grabber and storage system for use with virtually any high-performance camera. Input consists of both four GigE ports and/or three-to-six 85 MHz Camera Link Channels. The front end data is formatted and preprocessed by an FPGA before being sent to the memory subsection, processor, GigE interfaces or other outputs. The storage subsystem consists of 300 gigabytes of flash non-volatile storage with a recording bandwidth of 800 MB/sec. www.alacron.com
BitFlow (Woburn, Mass.) now supports the new Basler A406k 10-tap Camera Link camera with its Karbon-CL PCIe frame grabber. The BitFlow Karbon-CL is capable of acquiring 160 bits of data, 20 taps, and clock rates of up to 85MHz. Karbon-CL plugs into the x8 PCIe bus, and DMA's camera data directly into application memory at up to 1.7 gigabytes per second. The Karbon-CL has every type of I/O to support even the most demanding industrial applications. www.bitflow.com