Test & Measurement

Versatile frame grabber from Alrad

25th November 2015
Peter Smith

Alrad's frame grabber from BitFlow is fully compatible with every high-speed, high-performance Camera Link camera including base, medium, full and 80-bit (10-tap) CL configurations.

It can acquire from up to two 80-bit/85 MHz cameras simultaneously -- with the board appearing to Windows and application software to be two completely independent frame grabbers -- greatly simplifying multiple camera set-ups. In dual camera mode, the two cameras do not need to be the same resolution, frame rate, trigger mode or tap format to give the operator added versatility in design.

Like the BitFlow Cyton-CXP CoaXpress frame grabber, the Axion-CL leverages features such as the company's new StreamSync system, a highly optimized DMA engine, and expanded I/O capabilities that provide unprecedented flexibility in routing, all giving machine vision integrators an amazing amount of power at their finger tips, ready to accelerate image processing functions and solve real world vision problems. Consisting of an acquisition engine and a buffer manager, the StreamSync system delivers efficient support for variable sized images with faster context switches between frames, along with per frame control of acquisition properties, better hardware control of image sequencing and enhanced debugging capabilities.

Built on a half-size x8 PCI Express Gen 2.0 board, the Axion-CL will work in any slot that it fits in, not only x16 and x8 slots but also x4 and x1 slots that are becoming increasingly popular with system integrators. The Gen 2.0 PCIe bus doubles the data rate of Gen 1.0 while using the same footprint and connectors, plus is fully backwards compatible with Gen 1.0 motherboards.

Also, because it is Gen. 2, the Axion-CL uses an XML base camera configuration file that can be edited in any text editor and that reduces camera set-up time by requiring fewer items while still allowing for highly customized support of the board and the camera. Incorporation of the Axion-CL into an application is made even simpler with BitFlow's SDK, which supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Axion-CL software is compatible with current BitFlow frame grabbers, so migrating applications to/from Camera Link, analogue, and CoaXPress is trouble free.

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