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Has the Ultimate Camera Interface Finally Arrived?

Another interface is USB3 Vision which was also accepted as a global standard in late 2011. A draft standard will be available in May 2012. Looking back at Vision again, there were a lot of USB3 cameras in effect. USB3 cameras are popular but for companies looking to simply replace part of the their system, they will need to upgrade their laptops and motherboards to the latest version. USB3 also needs Windows 7 with a service pack to run, but when Windows 8 is released (due Q3, 2012), USB3 support will be native.

If I were a gambling man, I’d venture a good deal of money on the interface that's accepted first by G3. After all, an interface can change a good deal until it's released. On the CLHS side, no one has achieved the 20 links yet. This is because so many input levels, from sensor people, to camera people, to cable people each have their own agenda for certain parts of the standard. These changes may be seen in later revisions of the standard.

When a customer needs a vision system, cost can be as much of a factor as performance. For some customers performance is the ultimate factor and as such, they will simply use the one that does exactly what they want it to do. For others, the price point can dictate how “exact” they want their system to be, or how much they can live with certain factors, (bandwidths, distances etc.) Then there's the customer who wants the redundancy factor. Knowing that there are other cameras/cables or frame grabbers other than the one they selected gives them a sense of ease that this is an interface that’s here to stay and not the whim of some engineers in a back room of some lab.

For now, Camera Link is still the king of high speed data transfer, albeit over shorter distances, but the CoaXPress team is looking for that title. USB will always be available, and not just as a cheaper option. Each standard has it’s own merits. The Camera Link HS draft is now out for the required final review by industry stakeholders. While little is expected to change, it’s not set in stone as yet. But like all things we wait for, the delivery might not be exactly what we expect. A summation might be a phrase from the 1500's “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.”

This article was written by Donal Waide, Director of Sales, BitFlow (Woburn, MA). For more information, contact Mr. Waide at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit http://info.hotims.com/40433-201.