Sony has launched its second generation of smart cameras, the XCI series. The four camera modules, launched by Sony Europe's Image Sensing Solutions (ISS) division, process image data before transmitting to a PC and combine a powerful CPU with an open FPGA delivering a three times performance improvement over the previous generation.
The camera modules in the new product family are available for VGA (XCI-V100) and SXGA (XCI-SX100) monitoring, with colour and black and white modules created for each. The camera's FPGA provides pre-processing for real time raw image data without any load placed on its 1GHz CPU, reducing the camera's power consumption. To add flexibility, the function of the module's four inputs and eight outputs can be specified using the FPGA. Furthermore, the FPGA's open platform enables a user to specify and design niche functions.
The XCI-V100 records at 90fps, whereas the XCI-SX100 records at 30fps. The addition of colour analysis in two of the four camera modules enables the smart cameras to be used in a diverse range of markets where hue is vital to data analysis with initial beta tests including airport security, animal welfare in agriculture, traffic surveillance, forest fire prevention and machine vision applications. All cameras in the range are sized 94 x 70 x 139.5mm, support C and CS mounting, come with 512Mb of SDRAM, eight memory buffers, and a 1Gb memory card accessory with Windows XPe is also available. To ensure system cabling is as simple as possible, the XCI series utilises a share trigger line.
The XCI series further features auto gain control, auto iris control and
auto white balance as well as USB 2.0 and Ethernet transmission at 10, 100 and 1000 Mb/s.