High-speed devices for machine vision image capture

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By Ally Winning

“We have worked with the Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA) standards organization and our lead customers to optimize our offering in conjunction with CXP so it fully exploits the specification’s benefits on the factory floor,” said Matthias Kaestner, vice president, Automotive Infotainment Systems business unit. “Our low-latency, low-power transmission solutions integrate an equalizer, cable driver and clock data recovery into a single chip that enables camera and capture card manufacturers to deliver high-speed, high-resolution video and control signalling along with power over a single coax cable.”

Microchip’s EQCO125X40 family of CoaXPress devices implements the CXP 2.0 standard using a new backward compatible design based on the specification. The devices feature integrated clock data recovery (CDR) at all speed levels and a camera-side clock that supports the demands of real-world environments. The family of devices increase machine-vision processing throughput by allowing cameras and capture cards to transmit four to eight times faster than alternative solutions. The devices also allow four times the cable/link distance with lower power and near-zero latency.

The product family increases design tolerances and flexibility by seamlessly locking on all frequencies at any speed, from CXP-1 to CXP-12. They also eliminate the need for multiple channels by supporting 12.5Gbps bandwidth on a single cable. An enhanced choice of cabling options ensures systems can be installed where requires and the integrated CDR improves jitter performance for the signal sent from the camera to the capture card.

The on-camera low-frequency clock recovery gets rid of the need to program a separate clock in the FPGA. The integrated link signal integrity testing allows the system to perform real-time checks of cable link integrity before and during operations.

“Microchip’s new CXP-12 family provides our latest products with a compact and low component count single-chip equalizer solution which can therefore easily meet the CoaXPress return loss specification,” said Chris Beynon, CTO with Active Silicon. “The devices also have an elegant feature to allow real-time cable margin testing to detect aging or worn cables before any bit errors would be seen in normal operation.”

Microchip’s CXP devices enable manufacturers to get the same throughput from two ports on cameras and frame grabbers as they previously could with four. The devices can be used to retrieve a real-time low-frequency clock at the camera side, which provides more accurate signal timing. The manufacturers can also use it as a cable repeater, further extending the distances over which the cameras can be linked. Their low power consumption makes them ideal for bringing to market smaller, better-performing image-capture solutions that increase customer value yet are simpler and less costly to design.

Development Tools

Evaluation boards are available for the Microchip’s CoaXPress 2.0 family (transmitter, receiver and repeater).

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