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NI touts industry's 'first' high-throughput frame grabber

Posted: 04 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PXI? frame grabber? automated test?

National Instruments Corp. (NI) has unveiled what it claims to be the industry's first high-throughput frame grabber. Engineers can use the NI PXIe-1435 high-performance Camera Link frame grabber to integrate high-speed and high-res imaging into PXI systems, the industry standard for automated test. By combining high-throughput imaging with the benefits of off-the-shelf PXI measurement hardware, NI believes it offers full software-defined solutions for demanding automated test applications in industries such as consumer electronics, automotive and semiconductor.

The module acquires from all Camera Link camera configurations, including 10-tap extended-full, with up to 850MB/s of throughput. Engineers can power cameras through Power over Camera Link (PoCL)-enabled cables, eliminating the need for additional wires in deployment environments. The frame grabber also offers 512MB of DDR2 onboard acquisition memory for added reliability in transferring large images without fear of data overflow. Onboard digital I/O includes four bidirectional transistor-transistor logic (TTL), two opto-isolated inputs and one quadrature encoder for triggering and communicating inspection results with automation devices.

The frame grabber incorporates the synchronization, timing, data streaming and processing capabilities of the PXI Express specification and supports image processing on complementary field-programmable gate array (FPGA) boards to boost system performance, NI said.

"The NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber further complements our capabilities in the PXI platform," said Matt Friedman, National Instruments senior product manager for the PXI platform and PXISA board member. "The addition of high-performance imaging to our PXI offerings enhances our mixed-signal capabilities for high-end test systems."

The high throughput and low latency of the Camera Link standard make the frame grabber ideal for line-scan image sensors, which engineers can use for surface inspection of large areas, including finding aesthetic and functional defects in solar panels and dead pixels in flat panel displays. Ni added that the NI PXIe-1435 frame grabber also works well in many industrial applications, such as fault analysis using a stop trigger to record images before and after an event on the factory floor, and medical device applications such as analyzing intricacies in movement and recording stimulus response in objects from heart valves to eye corneas.

According to NI, Engineers can program the new module using NI LabVIEW graphical development software and the NI Vision Development Module, a comprehensive library of imaging functions. They can also configure it using NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection software, an easy-to-use, standalone package for fast development and simple maintenance.

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