Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another twist to camera interfaces

With various groups making plays for their preferred new standard – USB 3.0, CameraLink HS and CoaXPress – camera interfaces are in the news of late. Everyone talks about data rates and cable lengths - I’ve done my part, with “King of the (camera interface speed) hill” and “Everything you ever wanted to know about USB3.0” – but writing in the Adimec blog, Gretchen Alper offers another factor to consider: the cost of the cables. (“How to save cabling costs with new machine vision interfaces” August 29th, 2012.)

Now I knew that CameraLink cables were expensive, but I hadn’t appreciated just how expensive in comparison to GigE, FireWire, USB 3.0 and CoaXPress. (Read Gretchen’s blog post to see the actual numbers.) CoaxPress is of course just plain old co-ax cable, which is why it’s so cheap. As backers of this new standard, Adimec aren’t exactly neutral, so I would expect them to have done their best to ‘spin’ the cable cost issue, but even so, the numbers are pretty startling.

I wonder if this might change your choice of interface next time you spec out a system?

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