How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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The ever-increasing resolution of imaging equipment and sensors continually challenges the effectiveness of emerging imaging solutions. While technologies in image processing and storage capacity continue to advance, the limitations of existing analog and digital connections compromise their potential. Commonly used digital image connections such as coaxial cable, FireWire or Gigabit Ethernet are accompanied by compromises to real-time frame rates, cable lengths or distribution flexibility. A simple illustration of this condition is presented:
An imaging device or sensor creates a UXGA resolution image at 24 bit color depth and 60Hz frame rate. The raw image bandwidth of this information is:
1600 x 1200 x 24bits x 60Hz = 2.764 Gigabits/s.
A 1394b FireWire connection would only be capable of transmitting a fraction of this information over its 400Mb/s capacity on a 4.5 meter cable connecting only two points. Other digital image transmission standards have similar limitations. Analog coaxial connections have cable length limits and also only support point-point, one-way connections.
Electrosonic has developed a real-time, artifact-free compression technology, which is employed in the VISIONETWORK™, VN-MATRIX™ codec allowing high-resolution, full-motion images be transmitted over networks.
A common perception is that compression always results in degraded images. However, VN-MATRIX™ accepts images at up to 1600 x 1200, 24 bit color at 60Hz in either digital or analog form. These images might be derived from High Resolution sensors, HD cameras, or image generators used in simulation, media distribution, surveillance, medical collaboration or other demanding applications. It then outputs the image sequence (with frame synchronized audio if required) onto standard Ethernet networks. Multicast is normally used to allow viewing multiple locations.