Sunday, June 17, 2012

Under the hood of the Ximea Currera-G

Since bursting on the machine vision scene a couple of years ago camera-maker Ximea seems to have gone rather quiet. I imagine that’s because they’ve been busy selling cameras, although as this blog post by AMD suggests, they’ve also been working on new products.

Their Currera camera range is essentially a PC smart camera, which means it can run whatever software you prefer. However, as the AMD post tells us, the first generation used an Intel Atom processor. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I speak from personal experience when I say that while its energy consumption may be low, it ain’t that fast.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that the second-gen Currera G uses an AMD processor. According to AMD this results in a 45 times speed increase. I’m thinking that makes the constraint in the trigger-to-result pipeline the speed at which pixel values can be shuttled off the imaging chip rather than the processing of those values. And given that that will be much faster than 90% of applications demand, there’s potential either to do lots of intensive grayscale correlation pattern matching, or to acquire bigger images.

It will be interesting to see what Ximea do with all the extra horsepower.

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