With IEEE standardization and the success of GigE solutions, manufacturers have many options for hardware, soft ware, and accessories. For example, a GigE Vision solution can use an off -the-shelf NIC or FPGA card to directly connect to a 100GigE camera, which reduces system complexity.
A driver in imaging system design is the demand for more advanced machine vision. Graphic processing units (GPUs) have seen increased use in applications involving higher speeds, 3D imaging, and deep learning, for example. Integrating a GPU can introduce AI solutions to drive advanced imaging systems. A major advancement in AI processing technologies is NVIDIA’s BlueField-2, which combines a NIC and GPU into a one-card solution. Such innovations continue to evolve and expand the capabilities of machine vision and imaging technologies.
With third-party off-the-shelf accessories, GPU support, fast data transfer, and increasing frame rates; the benefits of GigE cameras are expanding use outside the factory. As shown in Figure 4, two 25 GigE cameras with a dual NIC and a NVIDIA Xavier GPU deliver the precise architecture for drone system deployment.
As imaging solutions move out of the factory, GigE Vision’s ability to reduce complexity is increasingly important to OEMs. Furthermore, with SFP+ (10G), SFP28 (25G), and QSFP28 (100G) offering low-cost commodity transceiver parts, a single mode fiber can run up to 10 km and beyond. Cable length proves critical in applications where the camera may need to be far from the PC, such as surveillance, transportation, and sports technology. In brief, benefits to adopting GigE cameras include:
• Ultra-high data and frame rates
• Accessories and cabling options to cover long distances
• Camera synchronization with PTP (precision time protocol)
• Camera multiplexing and multicasting
• Low CPU overhead, low latency, and low jitter
• Strong cross-industry acceptance due to IEEE standardization
• Competitive cost and performance