How USB is Shaping the Future of Machine Vision

September 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 

Here at L-com we are a member of the AIA (Automated Imaging Association) trade group, the world's largest machine vision trade group. As a member we feel that it is our duty to give you some insight on how advances in USB 3.0 technology are affecting the growth of machine vision.

 

First of all-- for those who don’t already know, machine vision is defined as the methods and technology used to provide imaging-based automatic inspection and analysis.

 

Machine vision systems use cameras and image processing software to perform inspections, similar to how human inspectors on assembly lines visually inspect the quality of the products. Examples of applications where this takes place include automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance in industry.

 

Machine vision inspection plays an important role in achieving 100% quality control in manufacturing. This reduces costs and ensures a high level of customer satisfaction. However, one of the main challenges designers face in machine vision today is market demand for HD imaging and the need for greater bandwidth based on increasing sensor resolution and frame rate.

 

Current systems are forced to compromise between image quality and compression. Higher levels of compression limit the accuracy and performance of machine vision systems.

 

But have no fear; this is where USB 3.0 comes to the rescue.

With USB 3.0, designers now have additional bandwidth at their disposal. USB 3.0 is fast -- with a 5 Gbps data rate, which is a 10x increase over USB 2.0 (480 Mbps). The increased bandwidth substantially reduces the time required for transferring large amounts of data or video.

 

As the EE Times stated it, designers can more readily increase image resolution and frame rate with greater bandwidth while still preserving image quality. Without the need for compression, designers can also reduce the amount of memory required in systems.  This translates to a lower BOM, smaller PCB, and reduced power consumption.

 

L-com offers a large variety of USB cables, and our cables are manufactured per the mechanical requirements of the USB 3.0 Vision standard. In addition to supporting the machine vision camera market, the screw mount hardware required for USB 3.0 Vision cables is beneficial in many other applications where standard USB connectors can become dislodged due to jostling, vibration, or other factors.

 

Have a look at our USB 3.0 selection here!

 

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