CoaXPress (CXP) is a simple, yet powerful, standard for moving high speed serial data from a camera to a frame grabber. Video is captured at speeds of up to 6 Gigabits/Second (Gb/S). On the same cable, control commands and triggers can be sent back at 20 Megabits /Second (Mb/S). Power is also supplied to the camera. All this happens over a single piece of industry standard 75 Ohm coaxial cable.
Multiple CXP links can be aggregated to support higher data rates (e.g. four links provide 25 Gb/S of data).
The CXP standard opens the door to applications where cable cost, routing requirements and long distances have prevented the move to high resolution, high speed digital cameras. In many cases, existing coaxial infrastructure can be repurposed for CXP with very low installation costs.
The Karbon platform has been shipping with a Camera Link front-end for many years. The acquisition and DMA engines have been tested under harsh industrial conditions, running 24/7, and has proven to be robust and reliable.
Adding the Karbon-CXP to your application is simple with our SDK, which supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Applications can be developed using C/C++/.NET and our sophisticated buffer management APIs. In addition, free drivers can be download from our web site for most 3rd party machine vision packages. The Karbon models are software compatible with each other, as well as with all the other current BitFlow frame grabbers. This makes migrating applications from Camera Link or analog to CXP simple and quick.
The Karbon-CXP Advantages
CoaXPress solves many of the problems of previous machine vision standards. It eliminates the cost and distance restrictions of Camera Link cables. It provides a huge increase in quality, resolution and speed over analog, while maintaining its simple and flexible cabling. GigE also uses low cost and long distance capable cabling, but introduces trigger latency and determinism issues that CXP does not have. The Karbon-CXP gives your application all of these advantages on an industry proven platform.
For well over 10 years, BitFlow's camera interface products have been built around our revolutionary FlowThru architecture. Comprised of a user-programmable Video Pipeline, a flexible Camera Control Unit, efficient high-speed video FIFOs and a highly-optimized scatter/gather DMA engine, the FlowThru architecture allows the Karbon-CL to control, acquire, reformat and transfer video data directly into the user's application at camera speeds with zero latency or CPU usage. Our FlowThru architecture has been continuously optimized and enhanced to support a wide variety of imaging applications such as document/package processing, semiconductor, continuous web inspection, sequence capture and motion analysis and can easily be adapted to the specific needs of your application.
PCI Express Interface
The Karbon-CXP uses a x8 PCI Express bus interface. The PCI Express bus offers huge increases in DMA performance over the PCI bus. However, what is less well known is that the PCI Express bus is always peer to peer. This means the the Karbon-CXP does not share the bus with any other devices. In most motherboard architectures, it will talk directly to the PCI chipset that is on the memory bus. This direct connection equates to higher sustained DMA bandwidths regardless of system load. Also, most motherboards support concurrent full DMA speed on all of their PCI Express slots. The board will work in any slot that it fits in. This means not only x16 and x8 slots, but also, as is becoming the trend, x4 and x1 slots that use x16 connectors. Performance will be degraded in x1 and x4 slots, but the board will work fine in applications that don't require maximum data rate.
Camera Control and I/O
Supported by a GUI camera file editing utility (CamEd), the Karbon-CXP can acquire fixed or variable size images and features a programmable ROI (Region Of Interest) sub-windowing capability. The board provides a full set of camera control signals (CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4) and sync inputs (LVAL, FVAL, PCLK, trigger and encoder) for each camera connected to the board (up to four cameras can be connected). These signals are completely independent, although there are provision for driving all cameras from a signal set up encoder/trigger signals. There is also a large number of programmable general purpose outputs and inputs that are not tied to the camera's timing. The Karbon-CL board, as with our past interface products, supports not only simple triggering modes but also complicated, application-specific triggering and control interactions with your hardware environment.
SDK 5.70 or later required