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Visual Aid—Industrial GigE Vision Cameras Get an Upgrade

Visual Aid—Industrial GigE Vision Cameras Get an Upgrade

Enhanced firmware in GigE Vision standard cameras includes the addition of auto exposure and gamma features.

German industrial camera manufacturer Imaging Development Systems GmbH (IDS) added new pixel formats and features to its GigE (Gigabit Ethernet) Vision cameras. Delivered through firmware release 1.3, the update included new features such auto exposure, auto gain, subsampling, black level, LUT, or gamma.

The firmware upgrade can be downloaded for cameras already out in the field.

In late 2017, IDS expanded its GigE Vision cameras uEye CP Rev. 2 family, uEye SE, and uEye FA series of GigE Vision cameras with models equipped with the latest CMOS sensors from Sony, ON Semiconductor, and e2v. The company says these sensors—the 12-Mpixel 1.1-in. CMOS sensor IMX304 or 8.9-Mpixel 1-in. CMOS sensor IMX267—offer "high sensitivity for microscopy, low dark noise for life sciences, and high speed for capturing fast moving objects in industrial applications.”

A global standard for industrial cameras, GigE Vision has been licensed by at least 76 companies worldwide, according to a list on the trade group AIA’s website. AIA maintains the standard and charges license fees. Companies must pay the license fee and go through a compliance process to use the GigE Vision logo and IP.

IDS’s GigE Vision industrial camera models were upgraded with firmware 1.3. (Courtesy of Imaging Development Systems GmbH)

The GigE Vision standard promises large image transfers in real time (at 125 MB/s) using low-cost CAT5e or CAT6 cables and connectors, over longer distances. The standard uses the Gigabit Ethernet communication protocol and is intended to make compliant device easy to set up.

The GigE Vision cameras are compatible with any image-processing software supporting the GigE Vision standard. IDS says no special drivers are needed. GigE Vision cameras are just one flavor of machine-vision camera offered by IDS. The company’s image software is proprietary for many cameras, but it’s compatible with GiGE Vision.

The next-level standard beyond GigE Vision is 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)—claims are that it speeds data transmission tenfold over GigE Vision over longer distances than GigE Vision’s 100M. In one report, 10 GbE was wired to 10 km, albeit in a nonstandard configuration.

The market for vision and imaging products is growing at healthy 14.6% in 2017 over 2016, according to a recent report from the Association for Advancing Automation (A3)—AIA’s parent group. The overall machine-vision market in North America grew 14.6% to $2.633 billion. I.H.S. Markit, in a recent blog, sees computer vision as one of its top eight trends for 2018.

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