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Industrial/Scientific Image Processing Boards
by Rich Handley
If you listened to some sources, you might think that today's "super-powerful" CPUs had more than enough headroom to handle demanding image analysis tasks and still chew gum at the same time! In the vision and imaging marketplace, pros know better, and know what they need; the best minds at the makers of frame-grabbing and image processing hardware keep coming up with new capabilities to meet those needs. Here is an update on some of the latest image processing boards of potential interest heading into this new year.
Alacron (Nashua, NH) has just introduced the FastImage 1300, a board allowing data capture with an analog or digital front end, data manipulation with 1 to 4 Philips Trimedia 1300 processors, and transmittal of results to a display or storage device on one PCI slot. The 1300, part of Alacron's FastSeries line, offers a connection for that emerging "Camera Link" protocol. It can integrate to any RS-170, NTSC, PAL, or RGB data-source, and connects to any digital line scan or area scan camera with up to 32 bits of LVDS, RS422, or PECL.
— Indicate 201 under February 01.
From New Hampshire-based DSP supplier Bittware, Inc. comes the new Hammerhead-6U-cPCI, a CompactPCI DSP board integrating eight 100MHz Analog Devices ADSP-21160 Sharc DSPs with a 64-bit, 66MHz PCI interface. The board provides 4800 MFLOPs of processing power and supports up to 3,184 Mbs of external I/O bandwidth, made possible via 16 external link ports, two 64-bit 66MHz PMC+ interfaces, and a 64-bit 66MHz cPCI interface. Other interfaces include two RS-232s, a JTAG emulation interface, and 2 TDM serial ports. For memory options, it incorporates up to three 64-512 MB banks of SDRAM (one per cluster and one shared) and two MB banks of Flash memory. 2 SharcFin ASICs provide bus interfaces and peripherals to simplify board-level implementation.
— Indicate 202 under February 01.
MVS-8120, from Cognex (Natick, MA), is a vision-oriented half-slot, 32-bit, 5V acquisition PCI frame grabber featuring MMX-optimized PC-based processing, Cognex vision tools, and modular image acquisition architecture. Supporting numerous digital cameras_including RS-170, CCIR, color, and large format_the MVS-8120 is designed for fast vision application operation and single-monitor operator interfacing. Bus mastering enables minimal latency between image acquisition and transfer to PC memory. Cognex Video Modules allow custom configurations, and individual CVM daughter cards are available for multi-channel RS-170 and CCIR digital cameras. Consumers have choices of three half-size PCI breakout cards: standard, lighting
control, and external I/O.