Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Frame Grabbers


Product Update

Frame Grabbers

by Rich Handley

January 2003

Tight integration among all image acquisition functions-including trigger, strobe, WEN, capture, transfer and interrupt-is critical to data integrity in high-speed, in-line inspections. Philip Colet, Coreco Imaging's Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, told AI that "frame grabbers are incorporating all image acquisition functionality on a single board and under a single API. This complete 'trigger-to-image' acquisition control ensures highly reliable control throughout the entire image capture sequence, from the time a trigger is fired to the time an image is transferred to the host computer."

Trigger-to-image reliability also gives users the ability to recognize if anything has gone wrong at any stage of the image acquisition sequence, and to identify the cause. According to Colet, one of the most challenging problems system designers face is "how to build in reliability and compensation techniques for system errors, particularly the rare ones that are very difficult to reproduce."

Without trigger-to-image reliability, Colet added, it is nearly impossible to determine where problems occurred during the image acquisition process, or what caused them. "Integrated trigger-to-image acquisition control not only pinpoints errors, it also compensates for them. Ultimately, trigger-to-image reliability saves end-users extensive time and money by increasing uptime and productivity."

As many manufacturing industries move toward 100% inspection, the trigger-to-image reliability of frame grabbers is helping them achieve better product yields at the lowest possible production costs. Below are but a sampling of the frame grabbers currently available on the market...

Phoenix frame grabber from Active SiliconFirst up this time out is UK-based Active Silicon, whose latest Phoenix frame grabber supports both the 32-bit 33MHz and 64-bit 66MHz PCI bus and can capture up to 533 Megabytes per second. Available in Camera Link and LVDS versions, the Phoenix line comes with a Software Developers Kit and a range of built-in third-party image analysis software drivers. Phoenix supports asynchronous capture from two independent digital cameras and is compatible with most computing and operating systems, including Win98/NT/2000/XP, Mac OS X, VxWorks and Solaris.

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