Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Performance Enhancers for the Next Generation of Image Processors

Epix, Inc.
Epix, Inc.
Mercury Computer Systems
Mercury Computer Systems

By Stacey Meacham

Image processing equipment continues to evolve to include many more systems than just a frame grabber to boost a system's speed and memory.

"The trend to improve software's ease-of-use is continual; however the new focus is to extend those features related to ease-of-use—beyond the user interface. This is being accomplished by developing new or adapting existing algorithms keeping 'inside-out' ease-of-use in mind," said Inder Kohli, Product Manager at DALSA. "In other words, a new generation of image processing tools will now allow complicated and mundane tasks related to setup, calibration and target training procedures to be performed with little or no operator intervention."

Here are just a few examples of processing components for imaging systems.

DALSA's (Montreal, Quebec) Sapera Essential is a cost-effective machine vision software toolkit that bundles board level acquisition and control with advanced image processing capability, and features a value-added geometric search tool. Sapera Essential is designed to deliver the critical functionality needed to design, develop and deploy high-performance machine vision applications while significantly lowering deployment costs. Sapera Essential delivers a full suite of libraries for image acquisition, display and control and includes an extensive list of image-processing functions.

The royalty free PXIPL Function Library from Epix Inc. (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) allows embedding image processing and analysis into custom imaging applications. Under Windows, the PXIPL DLL can be used with existing applications that support "hooks" into DLLs, such as Matlab and Labview. PXIPL works with EPIX' XCLIB board control library to provide hundreds of functions for processing, analysis, graphics, printing, morphology, transforms, sub-pixel accuracy measurements, blob analysis and particle tracking, correlation, sequence integration and averaging, and storage of captured images. These functions are compatible with all images captured using any EPIX® frame grabber or SILICON VIDEO® camera.

The Matrox (Dorval, Quebec) Solios GigE is a x4 PCI Express® (PCIeTM) short card with 4 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports. The board's full complement of auxiliary I/O not only protects critical triggering events from transmission latencies and packet losses associated with protocols like GigE Vision™, but can also be used to integrate rotary encoders and other devices into the application. For applications that must perform intensive computational operations such as bayer conversion, the Matrox Solios GigE offers an optional, configurable FPGA-based processing core that can offload image processing operations from the host CPU. Based on the Altera® Stratix™ family of FPGA devices, the FPGA includes a sizable amount of DDR SDRAM and/or a smaller amount of faster QDR SRAM to maximize performance.

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