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FireBird CoaXPress frame grabber 4x CXP-12, 4-line Gen3 PCIe - product photo

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FireBird CoaXPress Frame Grabber (4xCXP12-3PE4)

Part Number: AS-FBD-4XCXP12-3PE4

  • CoaXPress v2.1 frame grabber.
  • Supports CoaXPress speeds up to CXP-12.
  • Fast PCI Express 4-lane Gen3 interface.
  • ActiveDMA engine – acquisition with zero CPU usage.
  • Comprehensive I/O including end bracket I/O.
  • Supports PoCXP (Power over CoaXPress).
  • Micro-BNC connectors.
  • Standard half-length PCI form-factor.
  • Full GenICam support (including GenTL Producer).
  • Supported by the proven ActiveSDK.
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  • Description

  • Product Specs

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Products Specs


Ordering Info


The FireBird Quad CXP-12 3PE4 frame grabber is one of the the latest members of Active Silicon’s state-of-the-art FireBird frame grabber family.

FireBird is designed for ultimate performance using Active Silicon’s proprietary DMA Engine technology, “ActiveDMA”. This technical innovation applies RISC based processor techniques and guarantees high speed and low latency image data transfers and zero CPU intervention.

The FireBird Quad CXP-12 3PE4 supports one 2-link camera or two 1-link cameras up to CXP-12 for simultaneous streaming. For support up to CXP-6, one 4-link camera, two 2-link cameras or up to four 1-link cameras can be connected.

CoaXPress is a leading transmission standard for high-speed imaging in professional and industrial applications, just updated to include the faster CXP-10 and CXP-12 speeds. Each CoaXPress link supports up to 12.5 Gbps data rates, along with device power up to 13W and device control at up to 42 Mbps – all on a single coax cable. For faster devices, the links can be concatenated to provide multiples of the single coax bandwidth. Very long cable lengths are supported – up to 35m at 12.5 Gbps and 100m at 3.125 Gbps using Belden 1694A cable – or even longer lengths using thicker cables. Active Silicon was one of the primary authors of the CoaXPress international standard, which is hosted by the JIIA (Japan Industrial Imaging Association). All our CoaXPress products are certified compliant to the specification through the JIIA CoaXPress Product Certification Program.

FireBird is supported by Active Silicon’s software development kit, ActiveSDK. This is available as a separate item and allows rapid system development and integration. It provides comprehensive example applications and optimized libraries, and supports a variety of operating systems via a common API, including Windows, Linux (64-bit environments) and QNX. Drivers for third party applications are also available, such as Cognex VisionPro, HALCON, Common Vision Blox, StreamPix, LabVIEW etc.

Full GenICam support is included in the drivers and this includes a GenTL Producer for data streaming as well as register accesses. Additional to functions that control the hardware, the libraries include general purpose functions for the manipulation and display of images. A separate datasheet describes ActiveSDK in detail.

Further information and compatibilities

Application notes

Specification summary

CoaXPress Interface:

Four 75 Ohm Micro-BNC connectors (also known as HD-BNC) each operate at all CXP speeds up to 12.5 Gbps.  Up to 17W is available to power cameras on each Micro-BNC via Power over CoaXPress (PoCXP), with 13W available at the camera according to the CoaXPress specification.

The FireBird Quad CXP-12 3PE4 supports one dual-link camera or two single-link cameras up to CXP-12. More cameras may be connected, but these are the numbers for simultaneously streaming data. For support up to CXP-6, one quad-link camera, two dual-link cameras or up to four single-link cameras can be connected.

LEDs on the end bracket BNC show the link status according to the CoaXPress specification.

Buffer Memory:

Up to 5 GBytes of DDR4 memory is fitted for buffering between the CoaXPress interface and the PCI Express bus.

PCI Express:

Four-lane Gen3 interface typically providing 3.4 Gbytes/sec transfer from FireBird to the PC, subject to PC performance.


The following I/O lines are provided for triggers, optical shaft encoders, exposure control and general I/O:

  • 4 opto-isolated inputs.
  • 4 opto-isolated outputs.
  • 4 TTL inputs, 5V tolerant.
  • 4 TTL I/O, 5V logic.
  • 4 RS-422 inputs.
  • 4 RS-422 outputs.

All these I/O signals are provided on a 50-way header on the FireBird board.

A 15-way D-Type connector is located on the end panel bracket and allows access to a subset of the above I/O:

  • 2 opto-isolated inputs.
  • 3 TTL I/O, 5V logic.
  • 2 RS-422 inputs.
  • 1 RS-422 output.

Power Input:

An 8-way PCI Express Graphics (PEG) connector is provided to connect to a 6- or 8-way PEG connector from the PC power supply. This is only needed for PoCXP.

Fan Controller:

The fan speed is linked to the temperature of the FPGA die for optimum cooling and noise level.


PCI Express Interface:

PCI Express Bus four-lane Gen3 interface to Specification Revision 3.1, with a max payload size of 512 bytes.

The FireBird Quad CXP-12 3PE4 supports both Short (32-bit) and Long (64-bit) Address packets. It also generates Posted Writes for image data, thus achieving transfer rates up to 3.4 Gbytes/sec, subject to host performance.


The FireBird Quad CXP-12 3PE4 conforms to v2.1 of the CoaXPress specification.



  • CE-mark for compliance with EMC EN 55022:2010 (class A) and EN 55024:2010 in accordance with EU directive 2014/30/EU.
  • RoHS compliance to RoHS3 directive 2015/863/EU.


  • EMC FCC Class A.

The printed circuit board is manufactured by UL recognized manufacturers and has a flammability rating of 94V-0.

Physical and environmental details


PCB: 168mm by 111mm.
Overall: 181mm by 111mm.



Power consumption (typical):

(measured while acquiring from 4 CXP-6 links)

+3.3V: 80mA

+12V: 940mA

+12V PEG connector: up to 68W for PoCXP


(measured while acquiring from 2 CXP-12 links)

+3.3V: 80mA

+12V: 990mA

+12V PEG connector: up to 34W for PoCXP


Storage Temperature:

-15ºC to +85ºC.

Operating Temperature:

0ºC to +60ºC.

Relative Humidity:

10% to 90% non-condensing (operating and storage).

Ordering Information

Part number Description


FireBird Quad CXP-12 frame grabber with four-lane Gen3 interface.


Software Development Kit for xxx operating system.

For a full list of all supported operating systems please refer to the ActiveSDK datasheet, or contact your distributor.


Micro-BNC to Micro-BNC cable x metres in length for use with CoaXPress video sources.  Made from Belden 4855R cable rated to CXP-12.

The standard stock length is 3m.

High-flex rating and much longer length cables also available – contact your distributor for details.


As above, but Micro-BNC to BNC.


As above, but Micro-BNC to DIN1.0/2.3 and made from Belden 1855A cable rated to CXP-6 (DIN connectors are only supported in CXP up to CXP-6 speeds).

Video tutorial – Introduction to ActiveCapture

ActiveCapture is a consumer application for camera and frame grabber control and is provided with all FireBird frame grabbers.


FireBird CoaXPress and Camera Link frame grabbers

Frame grabbers from Active Silicon bring real-time, high-resolution image acquisition to your vision system. Learn more about Active Silicon range of frame grabbers, about possible customization and additional benefits by watching this video: