The CXP standard grants the benefits of leveraging cost-effective COTs interconnects while achieving much higher data rates than the USB3 and GigE vision standards. There are also essentially no limitations for cable lengths and power. This standard sidesteps the latency, jitter, cabling, and processing challenges of USB3 and GigE vision. Moreover, many legacy security, broadcasting, and surveillance systems that use analog cameras may be able to gradually and CXP-enabled cameras without the need to replace the entire infrastructure. Coaxial cables also have inherently excellent protection against electromagnetic/ radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI), reducing risks of downtime or latencies.
CXP Hardware Considerations
CXP really only supports point-to-point communications where multi-camera setups are enabled through link aggregation. Multi-destination support will, however, be introduced in the future with CXP v2.0, where a single camera can send data to frame grabbers in multiple PCs. There is not yet much vendor diversity available for CXP chipsets — essentially one CXP-enabled driver/equalizer manufacturer, EcqoLogic. However, MACOM is set to release a chipset that supports CXP v2.0 as soon as it is released.
The CXP standard also utilizes IP cores, or FPGAs, for camera or frame grabber development. There are three providers of frame grabber CXP cores: Easii IC, Sensor to Image, and Kaya Instruments. There are also only three manufacturers of CXP cores for cameras: Demand Creation, Kaya Instruments, and Easii IC. The lack of vendor diversity for key components can make integration of this technology less accessible than with USB3 or GigE vision.
Overall, the popular machine vision standards allow industrial facilities to dodge expensive custom cables and proprietary solutions and replace them with proven equipment. In addition to major considerations such as cost and throughput, parameters such as cable length, latency, and CPU load often require trade-offs that can be tailored to a specific application. The GigE Vision, USB3 Vision, and CXP standards utilize COTs interconnects to facilitate the implementation of vision systems. While GigE Vision and USB3 Vision have far more vendor diversity than CXP in terms of chipsets, CXP offers both high data rates and long cable lengths. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for machine vision standards.