Sowing the Seeds of Camera Link HS

Its spring time finally, a time of new beginnings and a time to get out in the garden and start planting in anticipation of the harvest to come. In my mind, technology and product development are a bit like gardening – you prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water and care for the plants and then you get to watch things grow.

The Camera Link HS (CLHS) committee has been carefully preparing the soil to achieve the balance of nutrients/features needed for machine vision today and for many years to come. The CLHS soil is rich and planted, ready for growth and harvest.

A good gardener plans his garden. This can be both difficult and exciting when trying something new. Careful evaluation of CLHS technology reveals that new crops of cameras and frame grabbers can benefit from the advantages of:

  1. Multiple vendor support for device and system components.
  2. Direct drive from FPGAs that enable low cost, small size, low power and long supply life.
  3. Proven base technology leveraged from high volume industries and successfully deployed now by Teledyne DALSA for the last 2 years in HS Link products.
  4. A single copper cable with a 15 metre distance and 2.1 Gbytes/ sec bandwidth, suitable for most applications.
  5. Fibre optic cabling to achieve greater than 300 metre distance, low cost, small size, light weight, high flex life, immunity to ground bounce and electrical fields and noise when flexed, and up to 10 Gbps lane speeds.
  6. Packed data formats that deliver optimal transfer efficiency while frame grabbers ensure minimal CPU loading and may include image pre-processing functions.
  7. Error detection and data re-transmission methods to ensure vision systems meet customer expectations.
  8. Plug and Play technology onboard, GenICam and standardized LED definitions.
  9. Parallel processing by identical frame grabbers with multi-cabled cameras achieve higher bandwidths and lower system costs.

The committee is seeding the landscape with reference designs to help ease development times and ensure device interoperability. Reference designs can be licensed from the AIA in May. In addition, the standard allows each gardener to differentiate their product and offer something unique to their customers.

CLHS is a G3 (Cooperation Agreement on Global Coordination of Machine Vision Standardization) approved standard. The specification was released for public review on March 1st and can be obtained from the AIA, European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA). The committee continues to work on the product qualification process, enhance the adoption collateral, and of course enhance the feature set of the standard.

Happy Planting!


About Mike

Mike joined DALSA in 1989 and developed the company’s first generation cameras using only 32 flip flops for line scan or 64 flip flops for area array. Some of Mike’s designs are out of this world, including cameras on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2. Closer to home, Mike contributed to the initial development of Camera Link and now chairs the Camera Link HS committee. Seems Mike has a passion for camera to frame grabber communications and pioneering new ideas.
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