Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Atom-based vision PC? Really?

The Intel Atom processor is a neat little device. It’s miserly in its use of electricity, so in laptops and netbooks it gives great battery life. It also generates relatively little heat, which makes it good for fanless applications. I’ve seen some camera companies use it in their smart cameras too, but I have to question the wisdom of doing so.

I’ve nothing against the little processor that could – in fact I have one in the netbook I’m typing this on – but they’re not really up to high-speed image processing.

So you’ll understand my surprise in learning that Dalsa – sorry, Teledyne Dalsa – have launched a vision PC built around the little fellow. The box I’m referring to is the GEVA-300. Now I try to avoid being negative, but really Dalsa, an Atom-based machine? And it’s intended for multiple cameras. Why not just step up to an i5? Was the whole point just to have a fanless offering?

And to that point, if you spend just a couple of minutes on the Dalsa site you’ll see they offer such a device, the GEVA-1000. It’s not clear what processor it actually employs, but I’m figuring that the bigger model number means more horsepower under the hood. I don’t know what the price difference is either, but I’ll wager anyone who buys the 300 will later wish they’d stepped up to the 1000.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What does the processor type really tell? It's all about image size and algorithms.

Cognex doesn't tell anything about their chips, maybe to avoid bitching about "not enough power" :)