These days, we see more and more camera interface standards bubbling up. Following on the heels of the original Firewire and Camera Link standards, we saw the advent of GigE Vision. And over the last few years, Camera Link HS, CoaXPress, and USB3 Vision have joined the horde to create options going further than anything we had thought possible in those early days. I believe it is difficult for us, as engineers, to imagine that more effervescence is possible, but the recent Vision Standards technical meeting in Seoul (April 2013) proved the opposite. Interest has never been so high around the support for all of these innovative options.
If you have a hard time figuring out which camera interface suits your application best, you are not alone! Our MV associations (AIA, EMVA and JIIA) have decided to join forces and create the ultimate MV standards guide to provide you with unbiased information about the strengths and weaknesses of each interface standard. Granted it is not possible to remove all biases, but the chairs of each of these standards have been working together to highlight the main characteristics of their respective standard.
This much anticipated brochure lists the history and benefits of Firewire, Camera Link, GigE Vision, Camera Link HS, CoaXPress, and USB3 Vision. It also covers software standards such as GenICam and IIDC. If you are looking to get an impartial read on what can truly be achieved, this is your document.
Here is a quick digest of the main conclusions as I see them:
- If you are looking for raw transfer speed, Camera Link HS and CoaXPress are your best options.
- If cable length is your yen, then GigE Vision and CoaXpress will serve you well over copper cables.
- When low system cost is the name of the game, ditch the frame grabber and look no further than USB3 Vision, Firewire and GigE Vision.
- If parallel processing is your goal, Camera Link HS and GigE Vision will take you there.
- If native fiber optic support is your intent, then opt for GigE Vision or Camera Link HS.
- When real-time operation and low latency are your credo, Camera Link or Camera Link HS are the path forward, and USB3 Vision is a good alternative if you don’t want to spend extra dollars on a frame grabber.
- And if you’re a GenICam fan, anything but Firewire and Camera Link will get you there.
As you can see, no interface can satisfy all practical situations and the list above carries countless exceptions. But the information provided by our MV associations will provide insights to help determine which standard is best suited to a given situation. So look to this soon-to-be-released brochure to get the real facts directly from the experts.