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High performing networks for vision systems.

Imaging networks

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  Automation > Resource > Technology > Network > Digital vision  

  Virtual serial port over Ethernet explained

Sensors networks and actuators networks  


CameraLink, Dcam - IEEE 1394, Gige Vision.

Transferring Many Data In A Minimum Of Time

The specialized networks dedicated to vision computing offer structures providing high performances and data exchange interfaces well adapted to machine vision.

Images acquisition (digital cameras, frame grabbers) and images computing are greedy for bandwidth. They need to exchange a huge amount of data (the images) while vouching for very short response time, depending of the application requirements.

More, there are many different image acquisition devices, and these dedicated networks provide standard interface to make operations easier, and quite independent according to the hardware.

"National Instruments" publishes an interesting article with considerations about the choice of the right camera bus (


"Camera link" basics, "Camera link" specification.

High Transfer Rate Camera Network Interface

"Camera link" is a hardware only specification designed by camera manufacturers to access cameras implemented in a network, in order to quickly read the frames and to control these cameras.

It is based on the "National Semiconductors" (nowadays "Texas Instruments") Channel Link interface.

The data transfer rate is typically about 2 Gbit/s in the basic configuration, and around 5.5 Gbit/s in the medium and full configuration.

The current "Camera link" specifications are provided by the AIA (, which maintains them.

CameraLink Technical Papers  
Camera Link Specifications  

Even these specifications could not be up to date, you will find all the informations you want about the Camera Link technology : the signals, the port assignments, the bit assignments according each available configuration and the description of the connections.

DCAM, Firewire, IEEE 1394 - A Digital Camera Protocol

What is IEEE 1394 Firewire ? , Specifications and resources, Factory automation usage, IEEE 1394 basics, Hardware designers guide.

A Popular Bus For Digital Video Applications

The "IEEE 1394" standard protocol is also known as "DCAM" (Digital CAMera protocol), "IIDC" (Instrumentation and Industrial Digital Camera), "Firewire", "iLink" or "I-Link".

Firewire is a high speed serial bus designed for digital audio and video consumer usages.

It has been originally developed by the Apple company, and is quite the concurrent of the USB technology.

The "Firewire" bus operates both isochronous and asynchronous data transfers, what leads to real time capabilities.

However, its features are compliant with industrial usages in order to operate machine vision installations at low cost, according to its performances.

IEEE 1394 Specifications And Useful Resources  

Damien DOUXCHAMPS is an engineer particularly involved in the world of the digital cameras and in the world of the "IEEE 1394" standard.

He provides a lot of informations and some useful utilities related to the digital video devices.


Using Firewire In Industrial Automation  

These slides show how compliant can be "IEEE 1394" for industrial applications such as imaging, industrial fieldbus, motion control and remote sensors access.

This document compares some features of the IEEE 1394 and GigeVision standards (the topology, the performances, the usability, the hardware requirements), and why the IEEE 1394 is reliable for automation networking, especially concerning the "IEEE 1394b" version of the standard.


IEEE 1394 Fundamental Knowledge  
IEEE 1394 Hardware Designer Guide  

This document presents many considerations related to the system design, the cable power, the link selection, the firmware layers and more.


GIGE VISION - Gigabit Ethernet For Vision Systems

What is Gige Vision ? , Gige Vision Technology Overview.

"Gige Vision" As A High Performing Data Exchange Interface

"GIGE VISION" (Gigabit Ethernet Vision) is a high performing specialized network system dedicated to machine vision and more generally to image transfer, intended to interface cameras from different manufacturers with any other devices and with any user applications.

The Gige Vision standard is based on the Gigabit Ethernet specifications, and later probably on the 10 Gigabit Ethernet specifications.

"Gige Vision" networks work using UDP (User Datagram Protocol), rather than using TCP (Transport Control Protocol).

The Gige Vision protocol is divided in four parts.

Introduction to "Gige Vision"  

This comprehensive "Gige Vision" overview presents what is Gige Vision and why Gige Vision exists.

Then it describes how "Gige Vision" is structured according to the OSI layer standard, it resumes how to connect a Gige Vision Camera to a personal computer and how do multi-camera applications work.

Finally, it compares the Gige Vision Camera features and costs with cameras using different interfaces according to various configurations.

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