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AIA releases upgrade of GigE Vision standard

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Version 1.1 of the GigE Vision camera interface standard has been released by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA), the global trade group that oversees the ongoing development and administration of the standard. The updated standard contains a number of enhancements and is now available in Japanese as well as English. GigE Vision has also been issued a registered trademark.

Speaking to Imaging and Machine Vision Europe, Jeff Fryman, director of standards development at the AIA said: 'Although version 1.1 of the GigE Vision standard contains no specific new camera features, the standard has been cleaned up and contains a number of enhancements from the original. These are mainly internal changes in the specifications allowing camera hardware and software developers to better control processes occurring within the camera.'

Among the enhancements are upgrades providing easier access through the firewall to the PC, additional pixel formats and Bayer format support, and the ability to send multiple commands simultaneously as opposed to individually, which Fryman noted is highly advantageous to camera developers. Additionally, commands that take a long time to execute are being given time to complete the operation without timing out and support for multiple versions of GenICam is also provided to ensure backwards compatibility with older versions of the standard.

GigE Vision, which has been used by the machine vision industry since 2006, is a camera interface standard developed using the Gigabit Ethernet communication protocol. It allows fast transfer (1000Mb/s) of data using low cost standard cables over long lengths (up to 100 metres). Using the standard, hardware and software from different vendors can interoperate over Ethernet connections.

The plug-and-play aspect of GigE Vision is a major benefit to end users and the enhancements made to the standard will allow cameras to be developed that are simpler to integrate and use. 'Overall, standards allow the industry component manufacturers to bring exciting new products to market faster, accelerating the technology improvements in industry. With less time and money spent on multi-vendor integration steps, more focus can be placed on technology innovation,' added Fryman.

Paul Kellett, AIA's director of market analysis, said: 'Since the standard's adoption in 2006, GigE Vision cameras increased six-fold in units sold and over five-fold in sales revenue. This represents a meteoric rise in acceptance, leaving little doubt of the growing importance of GigE Vision.'

'GigE Vision is an evolving standard and there are continuous improvements being made to it,' commented Fryman. Developments are underway to incorporate 10GigE as the higher speed of data transmission becomes available. In addition, an initiative is in progress to support non-streaming devices, such as lighting. These peripheral devices would be controlled by GigE Vision commands.