Camera Link HS Machine Vision Standard Released

Dec. 1, 2011
Machine vision systems must run increasingly quickly to keep up with the throughput demanded by today’s automated systems, and a number of standards are being promoted to help do that.

The Automated Imaging Association (AIA) released the Camera Link HS draft standard (version 1.0). After a period of review by a committee of industry experts, this latest machine vision standard will be finalized and released to the public in 2012.

Camera Link HS is the next generation of AIA’s Camera Link communications protocol standard. It is being developed as a global standard as outlined by the cooperation agreement on global machine vision standardization between the AIA, European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and the Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA). AIA also administers GigE Vision, Camera Link and USB3 Vision imaging and vision standards.

According to Bob McCurrach, AIA’s director of standards development, Camera Link HS delivers high bandwidth—performing up to five times faster than Camera Link at up to 33.6 Gbit/s with future versions promising 67.2 Gbit/s—as well as data reliability. Packet re-transmit, which is said to significantly reduce errors, is available now in draft 1.0.

McCurrach says the new standard also provides low jitter, plug-and-play ease-of-use and built-in fault tolerance with cyclical redundancy check (CRC. It also is GenICam-compliant, for an easy transition from Camera Link to Camera Link HS. “Camera Link HS is truly a real-time connection. There are no latency issues,” said McCurrach. “Camera Link HS will increase the speed and throughput of vision systems.”

A number of significant vision vendors are already on board with Camera Link HS, which was demonstrated in the International Standards Booth at the VISION 2011 trade show in Stuttgart, Germany in November. Teledyne Dalsa showed a Camera Link HS Falcon2 area scan camera, and said it will implement the standard in early 2012 in its Piranha4 line scan cameras and Xcelera Camera Link HS frame grabber.

Mark Butler, Teledyne Dalsa manager of product management, said his company’s products “will greatly benefit from the high bandwidth and compact cabling capabilities associated with Camera Link HS. In addition, the guaranteed data delivery feature ensures that our customers will have 100 percent reliable inspections, while the resend technology of Camera Link HS ensures smaller and lower power heads are possible over competing technologies.” 

Other vendors also showed support. 3M displayed CX4 optical cables and SFP, plus flat twinax cables for Camera Link HS. Other companies displaying the technology were Components Express, Inc., Intercon 1, Matrox Imaging, Miktrotron and Silicon Software.

AIA just released Camera Link 2.0, an update to the existing Camera Link standard that will remain active for those who need real-time speeds up to 6.8 Gbit/s over 10 meter cable.