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COM Express based Vision Processing Unit
Active Silicon, Inc. Posted 12/20/2017
Active Silicon is a leading manufacturer of embedded systems, machine vision products and imaging solutions. As well as offering a range of video interface cards for PCs and embedded form-factors, Active Silicon specialises in developing and manufacturing complete embedded systems.
Our latest embedded vision product is the Vision Processing Unit (VPU), designed to acquire image data from USB3 VisionTM cameras, process the image stream in real-time and provide several options for data output, including 3G-SDI.
The USB3 Vision Processing Unit has been developed for industrial and medical use, typically embedded into an OEM machine. The unit has four inputs for USB3 Vision cameras and four 3G-SDI outputs arranged as two channels of 3G-SDI video, each with a duplicate output. It satisfies various medical and quality standards and is designed for long-term use in an environment where high reliability and ease of use are paramount.
Internally the VPU consists of a COM Express carrier card, onto which the processor module and a PCIe/104 acquisition card are fitted. The whole assembly is fitted into a custom housing.
Based on the COM Express mezzanine standard, the processor module utilizes a powerful Intel processor, but various other processor options are also available. The PCIe/104 expansion slot allows for flexibility in system design. In the VPU, the expansion card provides four USB 3.0 compliant host controllers for up to four USB3 Vision cameras. It also has a dedicated USB power supply with the ability to adjust the voltage to ensure reliable device operation over long cables.
The carrier card contains the majority of the I/O interfaces, which includes 3G-SDI output, a RS-232 port, two internal SSD drives (M.2 SATA) and general purpose USB 3.0 ports. A development port provides interfaces for keyboard, mouse, monitor and network which may be conveniently closed-off for runtime deployed use. For volume applications, the carrier card can be customized to provide different I/O interface options. Alternatively, the number of independent network or output ports for multi-camera applications can be increased.
The key feature with the VPU is that it is an easy to integrate module to connect to cameras of your choice in medical or industrial systems with high expectations to reliability and longevity.