Increased Machine Vision Image Capture With Simple System Design

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  • The latest offering of MCUs by Microchip Technology strengthens machine-vision image-capture solutions for achieving faster throughput
  • The devices enable cameras to transmit data at faster speeds at-near zero latency over long cable distance

Microchip Technology has released the NCUEQCO125X40 family of CoaXPress MCUs, a single-chip physical-layer interface devices that include features that streamline machine vision system design, maximize transmission speed and simplify deployment in high-volume bottling operations, food inspection, industrial inspection and imaging applications. Through this development, machine-vision image-capture solutions can be easily supported for achieving faster production-line throughput. 

It is expected that the solution will also benefit traffic monitoring, surveillance and security, medical inspection systems and embedded vision solutions.  

The EQCO125X40 family of CoaXPress devices has implemented the CXP 2.0 standard with a new backwards-compatible design, including an integrated clock data recovery (CDR) at all speed levels and a camera-side clock to support real-world demands. The devices significantly increase machine-vision processing throughput by enabling cameras and capture cards to transmit data four to eight times faster. Additionally, these devices enable four times the cable/link distance with much lower power and near-zero latency. 

Supports broader cabling

The device family also provides increased design tolerances and flexibility by seamlessly locking on all frequencies at any speed, from CXP-1 to CXP-12 and eliminates the need for multiple channels by supporting 12.5Gbps of bandwidth over a single cable. Broader cabling options ensure systems can be installed where needed and the integrated CDR improves jitter performance for the signal sent from the camera to the capture card. The on-camera low-frequency clock recovery eliminates the need to program a separate clock in the FPGA. The integrated link signal integrity testing enables the system to perform real-time checks of cable link integrity before and during operations.

Reduces complexity and cost

The new offering is beneficial for card makers as it reduces the complexity and cost to develop robust products for deployment on the production line. The products also enable pre-setup and real-time cable link quality tests, giving users comprehensive solutions to tackle challenges and an option to scale up to 50 Gbps over multiple cables. 

“Our low-latency, low-power transmission solutions integrate an equalizer, cable driver and clock data recovery into a single chip that enables camera and capture card manufacturers to deliver high-speed, high-resolution video and control signalling along with power over a single coax cable,” said Matthias Kaestner, vice president, Automotive Infotainment Systems business unit.

Suitable as a repeater

The CXP devices enable manufacturers to get the same throughput from two ports on cameras and frame grabbers that they previously could with four. The devices can be used to retrieve a real-time low-frequency clock at the camera side for accurate signal timing. The manufacturers can also use it as a cable repeater, further extending the distances over which the cameras can be linked. Their low power consumption makes them ideal for offering smaller, better-performing image-capture solutions. 

“Microchip’s new CXP-12 family provides our latest products with a compact and low component count single-chip equalizer solution which can therefore easily meet the CoaXPress return loss specification,” said Chris Beynon, CTO with Active Silicon. “The devices also have an elegant feature to allow real-time cable margin testing to detect ageing or worn cables before any bit errors would be seen in normal operation.”

The Microchip CoaXPress 2.0 family includes a transmitter-only camera-side device and three single-chip transceiver options. Each is packaged in a 16-pin quad-flat no-leads package and is fully backwards-compatible with Microchip’s CoaXPress 1.1 family of devices. Along with the device, evaluation boards are available for the Microchip’s CoaXPress 2.0 family (transmitter, receiver and repeater).


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