Updates to vision standards announced

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Updates to all the major machine vision standards were announced at the International Standards Meeting, which took place at the end of October in Schongau, Germany.

Support for 3D vision in GenICam and GigE Vision, and higher speeds in Camera Link HS and CoaXPress were some of the proposals made by the various standard committees.

The event was organised by vision company Sensor to Image with support from G3, the umbrella body of the machine vision associations EMVA, AIA and JIIA. According to Jochem Herrmann, director of standards in the EMVA board, it was the largest international standards meeting ever held, with 73 persons representing over 30 companies from all over the world.

The GenICam committee agreed to force the development of GenApi 3.0, which will enable a camera's features to start up significantly faster using less memory. A proposal was also made for integrating pixel formats and features for 3D cameras, along with an agreement to develop procedures to validate GenTL compliant products.

GenICam 2.4 will be released at the end of 2013 and will include updated versions of the underlying modules GenApi (v2.4), GenTL (v1.4), and SFNC (v2.1). GenICam 3.0 is expected to be released in the second half of 2014.

The major work of the USB3 Vision committee centred on clarifying open issues in order to roll them into a standard release scheduled later this year. Another major item completed was the first official public certification event. Since the past meeting, the first version of the compliance testing procedures and test suite had been released. Multi-camera synchronisation, multiple image streams from a single camera, and enhanced power delivery for more power-hungry cameras were research items discussed to be completed for the next meeting.

The Camera Link HS committee agreed to increase the speed of the C2 (CX4) cable to 5Gb/s per lane as is used by the Infiniband standard. Also, the latch style CX4 connector for the frame grabber has been approved for use in support of the fibre converters. In addition, it was agreed to add multiple ROI capability with each ROI able to support different data types and bit depths for 3D camera needs, or chunk data transfer from the camera.

In addition, a new virtual uplink channel was added to support commanding the camera to new ROI settings on a frame by frame basis. This hardware to hardware link bypasses the usual GenCP methodology to enable minimal latency camera interpretation with commands sourced from the application software or from the frame grabber hardware.

The Camera Link HS committee targets a May 2014 release of Revision 2.0.

Major outcomes of the GigE Vision session were adding support for True Sense sparse colour filter in the Pixel Format Naming Convention and the preparation to introduce 3D data support in GigE Vision. In addition, GigE Vision Validation Framework, a tool used to certify compliancy for GigE Vision devices supporting the current version of the standard was driven forward.

New developments for the next GigE Vision release 2.1, which is targeted for November 2014, are locking connectors with thumbscrews, 3D data support, testing specification to support the Validation Framework, and pixel formats fully referenced from Pixel Format Naming Convention (PFNC).

The CoaXPress standards meeting centred on the release 1.2 which is targeted for the fourth quarter 2014 and dealt with the subjects of faster speed (10Gb/s and 12.5Gb/s per cable; data striping to cope with cameras faster than one PC can cope with; forward error correction to correct any occasional bit errors on the link; and support for GenICam events.

As part of the meeting, the Future Standards Forum under G3 met for final adjustments of the Global Machine Vision Standards Brochure which will be presented to the public at the SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg later this month.

The next international standards meeting will be held in the first half year 2014 in North America.

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