CoaXPress was first demonstrated at VISION 2008 in Stuttgart and subsequently became a machine vision standard in 2011 after several years of development by a consortium of companies including Active Silicon. In 2009 the technology was awarded the prestigious Vision Award for technical innovation. The Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA) host the standard, and the current version, v1.1.1 was released at the end of 2015. It is an asymmetric, high-speed point-to-point serial communication standard for the transmission of video and still images.
Version v.1.1.1 supports data rates of up to 6.25Gbps and allows for multiple cables to be used, increasing the bandwidth available between camera and interface board (or “frame grabber”). The high speeds and low latencies combined with the simplicity, scalability and robustness of the cabling are particularly appealing to the vision industry, where certain applications have been limited by the slower speeds of Camera Link, high costs of 10 GigE and limited cable length of USB3 Vision. In particular, the adoption of CoaXPress in the inspection and metrology sectors has led to faster image processing of more data using higher resolution cameras, and ultimately more efficient production lines.
The benefit of standardizing machine vision interfaces is the resulting wide choice of cameras and frame grabbers – so users can pick and choose to create an optimal solution for every application. Whether your priority is speed, processing capacity or image resolution, engineers are enjoying unprecedented choices in hardware, software and integration components. CoaXPress is undoubtedly playing an important part in making machine vision accessible to more industry sectors, and driving efficiencies in automated inspection.
- High-speed data rates: up to 6.25 Gbps over a single coax cable.
- Speed is scalable for multiple cables (e.g. 4 cables give 25 Gbps, 8 cables give 50 Gbps).
- 83 Mbps uplink channel for camera control, triggering and firmware updates.
- Power over CoaXPress up to 13W per cable.
- Runs over cable lengths in excess of 100m at 3.125 Gbps and 40m at 6.25 Gbps.
- Inclusion of XML file means GenICam is supported without the need for camera files.
- Precise triggering capability and real-time behaviour with virtually no latency.
- Flexible and reliable via use of standard 75 Ohm coax cable leading to cost-effective and easy to integrate cabling solutions.
- Hot pluggable.
CoaXPress v2.0 is due for release in the second half of 2018; this revision will introduce even greater speeds, as well as distributed transmission across multiple frame grabbers and cameras, with CXP-10 and CXP-12 offering up to 10 Gbps and 12.5 Gbps respectively. Additionally, the revision will introduce forward error correction (FEC) and support for 3D data. The increased speed per link (which incidentally allows a trigger rate of over 500kHz) will mean high-end systems could require fewer cameras and frame grabbers, making the technology more affordable to a wider audience.
Active Silicon and CoaXPress
After introducing the industry’s first CoaXPress frame grabbers to the market in 2011, Active Silicon is proud to be supporting the development of the latest version of the CoaXPress standard. Our CTO, Chris Beynon, chairs the Technical Committee and has been heavily involved in progressing the technology from its infancy in 2008. 2018 will see Active Silicon launch three new CoaXPress cards – low cost single and dual channel cards, plus a new high-end quad channel card. As CoaXPress enjoys wider adoption throughout an ever growing imaging market, we’ve been working hard to develop cost-effective product solutions and bring machine vision to many more applications.
You can see details of all the machine vision standards on our dedicated webpage.