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Flexibly Generate and Port Tailor-Made Applications in Image Processing Devices
Silicon Software GmbH Posted 12/05/2016
Mannheim (Germany) – With its VisualApplets Embedder, Silicon Software GmbH has presented a hardware solution that is integrated easily and only once into image processing devices such as cameras and vision sensors. Using VisualApplets, the graphical development environment, the devices’ FPGAs (Field-Programmable Gate Arrays) are rendered freely programmable to realize individual image processing applications as often as desired and to port them onto other devices. Programming the FPGA directly in the device enables it to execute portions of the image preprocessing, reducing data load and system costs. New applications such as those in the Industry 4.0 sector and markets are addressable.
Embedded vision is one of the most commonly cited keywords for future markets in image processing. “Silicon Software’s embedded concept puts manufacturers in the position where they can set up a compatibility layer on their own on the FPGA of an image processing device. This allows them to graphically program the device flexibly, relevant to the project at hand, and as often as they want with VisualApplets, with no use of hardware description language,” explained Dr. Klaus-Henning Noffz, Managing Director of Silicon Software. With VisualApplets, even complex real-time applications for image processing, preprocessing and for data signals can be created using data flow diagrams. This is now possible beyond frame grabbers on any image processing device using an FPGA.
The VisualApplets Embedder integration environment is an extension of VisualApplets. It allows manufacturers of image processing devices, following the one-time implementation, to develop as many applications as desired, transfer them to further devices, and to open up development for their customers of their own applications. Manufacturers can reach new markets, modify their image processing applications to meet new customer and market needs in a timely manner, and implement complete product lines in almost no time. Users gain the ability to program their newly acquired devices themselves, ensuring them a high degree of investment security.
Image processing devices made Industry 4.0-ready
“With VisualApplets Embedder, manufacturers of cameras and vision sensors have an easy-to-implement solution right now for integrating FPGA image processing in real time on their hardware platforms,” Noffz emphasized. “Together, we are making it possible for users to efficiently solve tasks themselves that in the past would have been reserved for customer-specific developments.” The market has already gotten the message; the Baumer LX VisualApplets camera series has been equipped with VisualApplets Embedder, and concrete conversations with other manufacturers are underway.
Image processing is rapidly developing in the direction of decentralized, intelligent cameras and vision sensors integrated into one network. By using embedded processor technologies, these requirements can be diagrammed. VisualApplets Embedder concentrates primarily on FPGA technologies, but can also be implemented on system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions, such as Zynq architectures (FPGA and ARM cores), for example. The image processing industry profits directly from faster development of high-performance components in the field of embedded vision.