Frame grabbers were a highly popular machine vision technology in the very beginning of the machine vision industry. Once PCs were introduced, thanks to their processing power and interfaces, many proclaimed the end of the frame grabber for industrial applications. Today, the truth couldn’t be more different.
The frame grabber has endured and is still an essential technology in many applications, especially for the inspection of flat panel displays and consumer electronics where high speed data transfer is highly desirable. There are a number of trends driving the growth of frame grabbers and reason to believe this growth will continue in the future.
Machine Vision Trends Driving Growth in Frame Grabbers
One of the primary reasons for the continued need for frame grabbers lies in the rising resolution and speed of image sensors. A 50MP image sensor is commonplace today, and some of the most advanced sensors on the market exceed 100MP. This creates an enormous amount of image data that simply requires the bandwidth of a frame grabber for accurate imaging.
Similarly, large amounts of image data transfer risk the loss of image data – some interfaces and cables are more prone to data loss than others, and some interfaces are less deterministic than others. Frame grabbers improve the reliability of data transfer, reducing interrupt issues and delays for higher quality imaging.
CoaXPress 2.0 Doubles the Speed of Data Transfer
The CoaXPress interface has always been a high speed interface and has always required the use of a frame grabber. With the new CoaXPress 2.0 interface, bandwidth for machine vision applications is effectively doubled, enabling even higher imaging speeds.
The current CoaXPress interface supports a maximum data rate of 6.25 Gb/s. Version 2.0, however, will add two more speeds at 10 Gb/s and 12.5 Gb/s, with trigger rates in excess of 500 kHz without the use of a dedicated high-speed uplink cable. This new interface will even allow a camera to send data to more than one frame grabber.
The introduction of CoaXPress 2.0 is big news for the machine vision industry and only further solidifies the place of frame grabbers as an essential technology in high-speed imaging applications.
Far from obsolete, the frame grabber is being used more than ever today. With increasing machine vision resolutions and speeds, as well as the introduction of new interfaces, the frame grabber will continue to grow in importance.
To take a deeper dive on this topic, read our featured article, “Frame Grabbers Reach a New Limit in High-Speed Imaging.”