Machine vision board does the work of four

Imaging Technology recently staked a claim as the first producer of a single machine vision board able to do the work of four acquisition boards. Known as IC-ASYNC, the new board puts four independent, asynchronous frame grabbers on one full-size PCI bus card, allowing multiple inspection points for fault detection of large, three-dimensional objects at what the com...

By Michael Drakulich, assistant editor, Control Engineering October 1, 1998

Imaging Technology recently staked a claim as the first producer of a single machine vision board able to do the work of four acquisition boards. Known as IC-ASYNC, the new board puts four independent, asynchronous frame grabbers on one full-size PCI bus card, allowing multiple inspection points for fault detection of large, three-dimensional objects at what the company says is a fraction of the normal cost.

“By supporting four asynchronous inputs, all sides of the part can be included using a single acquisition system,” says Gary Wagner, president of Imaging Technology. “Prior to IC-ASYNC, each camera inspection point required a separate frame grabber, doubling or even tripling the cost of the machine vision system and significantly increasing the programming effort.”

IC-ASYNC meets speed requirements by using a high-performance bus master controller that also satisfies bandwidth requirements by using a standard PCI bus. Instead of the CPU, the controller monitors images coming in to the frame buffers and transfers the video data to the host PC. The CPU is then free to process images. Rate of transfer from camera to frame grabber is 80 MB per second while the transfer rate from frame grabber to host PC is 120 MB per second.

For capturing video input, IC-ASYNC digitizes up to four independent, asynchronous channels of 8-bit data from RS-170, CCIR, or Progressive Scan cameras at up to 20 MHz per channel. Each channel has independent external trigger, frame reset, strobe, sync, and timebase settings. Multiframe modes are available to capture up to eight images to be consecutively acquired by each of the linear frame buffers. The ping-pong bus master mode is guaranteed by the company not to lose any frames of consecutively acquired and transferred images.

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