How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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By Lee J. Nelson
In a typical R&D microscopy lab, frame grabbers and cameras abound and often are found coupled to various manufacturers' equipment. Such variety forces users to employ numerous hardware drivers and to become familiar with diverse proprietary software. Imagic Bildverarbeitung AG (Glattbrugg, Switzerland) and Jenoptik Laser Optik Systeme GmbH (Jena, Germany) cooperatively publicize solutions to this dilemma for video microscopy.
ImageAccess is a Digital Image Management System for the Windows operating system. Together with the EasyLab Image and Document Management System (from Imagic), both contain a universal driver for Jenoptik's ProGres family and Canon USA Inc.'s (Lake Success, N.Y.) PowerShot line plus digital cameras from Carl Zeiss (Oberkochen, Germany & Thornwood, N.Y.), Leica Microsystems (Wetzlar, Germany & Bannockburn, Ill.) and others, as well as for most industry-standard analog-to-digital converters.
An intuitive interface imparts a complete set of generic camera functions for interactive control of image acquisition and display. The driver also reads-out all relevant camera and microscope parameters that can be stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database and retrieved for confirmation. In the United States, the Imagic/Jenoptik partnership is represented by Liebmann Optical Company, Inc. (Easthampton, Mass.), a Jenoptik subsidiary.
MathStar Inc.'s (Hillsboro, Ore.) software permits engineers to architect, authenticate and debug algorithms and protocols on the firm's Arrix series of Field Programmable Object Arrays (FPOA). The software employs industry-recognized Electronic Design Automation tools and complements them with MathStar-provided libraries and templates. And, users simply edit those to construct the arithmetic logic unit, multiply accumulator, register file and other objects.
MathStar augments the Visual Elite Integrated Development Environment with high-performance models for rapid verification. Built-in simulator and waveform viewing aid debugging through functional testing. Once logic design is completed, one can proceed with physical implementation of the FPOA. MathStar's COAST tool utilizes a graphical interface for placement and connection of silicon objects. It also compiles the application—created in Visual Elite—with the physical mapping from COAST into a load-image file for configuring the Arrix FPOA.