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Graphic Programming of FPGAs with VisualApplets 3

The graphic approach of FPGA programming through dataflow models makes it easy for software developers and application engineers to create individual designs for complex image processing sequences intuitively in just a few steps – even without hardware programming skills.

The basic version of VisualApplets includes its full functionality, which can be further upgraded with special extensions and individual licenses.

Irresistible Performance Characteristics

  • Programming of the V-series frame grabbers and image processing hardware with special applications
  • Create image processing solutions with drag-and-drop by linking operators, filter functions and transport links as flow charts
  • Save time and money with over 80 directly implementable sample applications
  • Thematically structured operator libraries
  • Simulate the functions of the created application at arbitrary points in the design with pixel-perfect accuracy
  • Review the conformity of the created application with the combination and configuration rules with convenient visual debugging
  • Display the use of individual operators and design units with the available FPGA resources to optimize the performance
  • Create the executable FPGA applet with just a few clicks after finishing the design

Simple programming of FPGA-based image processing devices

VisualApplets enables access to the FPGA processors in the image processing hardware, such as frame grabbers, industrial cameras and image processing devices, to implement individual image processing applications.

Now, with version 3 of VisualApplets, it is also possible to represent loops in the dataflow model for image processing which have already been available for signal processing for some time. This enables recurring processing of the same pixels in image sequences and comparisons as well as the batch processing of images. The complex algorithms are processed on the FPGA, which reduces the CPU load of the host PC. All image formats supported by VisualApplets can also be used within loops. This does not change the image formats.

Licensing of VisualApplets 3 We train system builders in workshops

Simple programming of FPGA-based image processing devices

High variety of features in VisualApplets – easy to use

Graphic user interface of VisualApplets

Easily develop applications with a graphic interface through flowcharts via drag-and-drop and sample applications

Two-level design rule check to review the created application and convenient visual debugging

Design rule check and visual debugging
Simulation of the application

Pixel-accurate simulation of the image processing solution and review of the created application’s functionality

After completing the design in VisualApplets, the executable FPGA applet can be created with just a few clicks

Executable application with a few clicks
Bandwidth control for even more performance

The data throughput rate analysis calculates the available and required bandwidth for all individual transport links

Benefits for developers and decision makers

For developers

  • CPU unload: FPGAs are upstream from the CPU and handle a variety of image processing tasks (image optimization, image analysis, creation of control signals).
  • This eliminates hardware programming: No VHDL skills are required, thanks to the graphic user interface.
  • Parameterization for runtime: When the FPGA design is created, it is already possible to define which parameters can be changed for the runtime after the applet has been implemented.
  • Third party image processing tools: Convenient interfaces to image processing programs from third-party manufacturers.

The Sales team answers developer questions

For decision makers

  • Accelerated time-to-market: It is much faster to develop new applications with VisualApplets. The generated hardware code can be used in the target system immediately.
  • No personnel shortage: Software developers and application engineers can also handle it – thanks to the intuitive operation and design method. Interdepartmental teamwork functions help integrate hardware and software programmers into joint projects.
  • Fast return on investment: VisualApplets offers low initial investment costs and low maintenance costs, since the development projects can be adjusted continuously. High portability makes it possible to quickly switch to new hardware platforms.
  • Protection of intellectual property: The design of specially developed image processing solutions is categorically protected by a conversion into binary code. It is possible to prevent unauthorized use of applets by limiting the executability only to defined FPGAs.

Decision-making support by the sales team

VisualApplets Embedder – Flexible Cameras and Vision Sensors Through Integrated FPGA Programming

The future belongs to embedded vision – networked, decentralized image processing by hardware and software in one housing. This is already possible today with VisualApplets Embedder. The solution for real-time image processing in FPGA devices like industrial cameras and vision sensors is easy to integrate and operate. With Embedder, manufacturers of image processing hardware and end customers program software applets customized for their applications and industry within a short time directly on the device’s FPGA.

Easily and Flexibly Configure Vision Devices with Image Processing Applications

VisualApplets Embedder makes it possible to use standard designs even in cameras and vision sensors, and to create proprietary image processing designs as dataflow models or individualize them for customer groups.

  • Unlimited configuration of FPGA hardware with specific image processing applications
  • Promptly adjust image processing applications to customer and market requirements
  • Plan and implement complete product lines in a short time
  • Transfer developed image processing applications to different vision devices with minimal effort
  • Reduce the data volume with image pre-processing and alternatively apply inexpensive interfaces such as Gigabit Ethernet
  • End customers get the added value of programming the devices themselves in a specified framework, as well as investment security.

License VisualApplets Embedder

VisualApplets Embedder

Your Benefits with VisualApplets Embedder

Custom camera with high investment security

Custom camera with high investment security

  • Easily configure FPGA hardware with VisualApplets technology
  • Improve throughput and reduce system costs with preprocessing tasks in real time, including image optimizations, data reduction and process control
  • No expertise in FPGA hardware programming needed – attractive for end user programming
  • Stay flexible in case of changes to requirements with the ability to program FPGA devices
  • End users benefit from increased protection of their know-how, since the image processing functions can be implemented independently of the camera manufacturer
Manufacturers benefit from VisualApplets Embedder

Benefits for manufacturers – Tap into new markets

  • Program inputs and outputs and connections to external peripherals with VisualApplets directly from the device
  • Accelerate own internal development to offer device series with extended additional functions
  • Use in-house development to offer customers a device with application-specific additional functions
  • Port fully developed applications to different camera series
  • Tap into new customer segments whose requirements go beyond standard products and conventional OEM solutions
End users benefit from VisualApplets Embedder

Benefits for end users – Your personal path to an individual camera

  • Quickly and flexibly adjust proprietary image processing designs to the corresponding market requirements
  • Extend camera features yourself with little effort and no hardware programming skills
  • Use image pre-processing to reduce the image data amount and reduce the load on the PC during the final analysis – see a significant improvement in the robustness of the image analysis and inspection speed
  • Secure intellectual property with a sophisticated encryption system – this makes data hacking with reverse engineering virtually impossible

Develop open FPGA hardware platforms

VisualApplets Design

VisualApplets Design

VisualApplets is an intuitive, graphic development environment for the simple programming of image processing applications that can be uploaded as applet designs onto FPGAs on cameras and vision sensors.

Applications and Functions

VisualApplets Embedder sets up a compatibility level between the FPGA hardware and VisualApplets programming core. This reserved part of the FPGA can be programmed as often as needed by creating applet designs with VisualApplets.

Applications and functions
Porting to additional devices

Porting to Additional Devices

Transfer the applet designs to additional cameras and hardware platforms with the possibility of using a hardware definition as a blueprint for an entire product series.

VisualApplets Expert – Use Advanced Functions in VisualApplets

VisualApplets Expert features many new functions for experienced system builders: the custom library with the option of creating one’s own operators for use in the VisualApplets design, as well as the debugging and parameters libraries. This offers developers new possibilities for the design and review of the created image processing application.

The libraries can also be acquired individually.

This Is How Users Benefit from VisualApplets Expert

  • With the custom library, system builders apply their image processing modules programmed in VHDL or Verilog (VHDL libraries) in VisualApplets as generic operators, thus preserving their preparatory work.
  • The debugging library enables enhanced debugging to detect programming errors, deadlocks and bandwidth problems and to increase the design stability.
  • The parameters library offers users tools to change even those parameters that might be deeply embedded in the design’s hierarchical structures. The changes are automatically and consistently updated during the runtime.
  • Users have the option of automating the design process through a console with an installed TCL interpreter. About 80 commands that trigger actions in VisualApplets are available for direct entry or for the creation of TCL scripts. The command set makes it possible to create, manipulate and simulate designs.

VisualApplets Expert licenses

VisualApplets Expert for experienced system builders

VisualApplets Expert Libraries for Greater Functionality

Custom Library

Import/export of the operator’s XML definition makes it possible to import and export individual custom operators. System builders continue to implement their know-how and existing hardware code in the programming of the FPGAs--for example, to integrate an existing IP core into new applications in just a few steps. This significantly shortens the time to market of their products.

Debugging Library

The expanded debugging capabilities include image analysis, image statistics, stream analysis, image flow control and monitoring, among others. The operators can be used to debug VisualApplets designs in real runtime as well as custom operators that are still in development. In the latter case, the debugging library makes it possible to analyze how new custom operators influence the designs.

Parameters Library

Changes in the parameters of a VisualApplets design made by the system builder, even in protected hierarchical boxes, are consistently and automatically updated during the runtime. This eliminates an elaborate and error-prone manual change of parameters throughout the whole design and/or the use of additional software. Additionally, new values can be calculated from different parameter values and transferred to other parameters in the entire design.

TCL Console

Complex processes, such as the simulation of thousands of images with different parameter settings, can be performed automatically via a script. It is also possible to connect external image processing software to easily transfer design parameters or images.

VisualApplets Libraries with Special Additional Functions

VisualApplets libraries comprise multiple operator libraries which expand the operators’ scope with valuable image processing functions, such as those for segmentation, classification and compression.

The libraries can also be acquired as individual licenses.

Important Basic Image Processing Functions Bundled in One Place

  • Segmentation/classification: These operators are used to segment and define objects in images and assign characteristics to them.
  • Compression: The JPEG operator makes it possible to execute the JPEG image compression directly on the FPGA of the vision hardware to reduce image data.

VisualApplets Libraries licenses

VisualApplets libraries with special additional functions

The VisualApplets Libraries Functions

VisualApplets Libraries segmentation / classification

VisualApplets Libraries Segmentation / Classification

These operators are used to determine the position, surface area, shape, scope of objects and the surrounding geometry (bounding box) after the segmentation and object definition. Blob analysis is used for this purpose for one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) binary images.

VisualApplets Libraries Compression with Scalable Data Rate

With VisualApplets JPEG compression, it is possible to reduce captured (and pre-processed) image data before the transfer and storage on a PC, without loading the CPU. The JPEG operator compresses 8-bit grey images and 24-bit RGB color images with a variable image compression rate and scalable data rate in real time on the FPGA. High-speed applications can be implemented on fast camera interfaces.

VisualApplets Libraries compression

Secure protection of applets and frame grabbers

To prevent the use of proprietary applets on external frame grabbers and thus protect intellectual property from outside access, the applets and frame grabbers can each be securely encoded with a lock.

VisualApplets Protection ensures benefits

  • Applets and frame grabbers are each securely encoded with a lock.
  • Two protective mechanisms guarantee maximum security.

VisualApplets Protection licenses

VisualApplets Protection secures applets and frame grabbers

VisualApplets Protection – it’s That Easy

The protection consists of two security mechanisms that must match:

  • Applets are coded and locked with a unique security identifier code. Silicon Software frame grabbers are configured with a security license.
  • An applet that is safeguarded like this will only be executed on the corresponding Silicon Software frame grabber with an appropriate security license.
VisualApplets Protection – it’s that easy

Get More out of Your Image Processing System

Our service offer ranges from a comprehensive consulting to complete support with development tasks for customer-specific products (customizing)

  • VisualApplets workshops – training for entry-level and advanced users
  • Coaching – consulting and development for concrete tasks
  • Consulting – project consulting from beginning to end and beyond
  • Feasibility study – evaluation of a project with a detailed outcome report
  • Development (customizing) – customer-specific adaptations for hardware and software solutions
  • Design check – check of customers’ VisualApplets designs

Learn more about consulting

Flexibly Implement Deep Learning for High-speed Applications

Deep learning with deep neural networks such as CNN enables a simpler and faster implementation of many image processing applications that were previously difficult to execute. This makes many classification tasks much easier to solve than with existing algorithmic methods. A pre-configured CNN operator in VisualApplets can be adjusted in multiple ways and used together with the pre-licensed frame grabber microEnable 5 deepVCL for real-time applications with a high bandwidth.

More about the deep learning offer

Didn’t Find What You Were Looking for?

High-speed Frame Grabbers with FPGAs

Frame grabbers for high-performance applications in real time

Select the right board for your image processing task from one of the most extensive frame grabber ranges in the market. The boards excel with robust image capture, image pre-processing, minimal latencies and top speeds for all conventional camera interfaces.

More about the frame grabbers
Frame grabber trigger boards

Frame Grabber Trigger Boards – and Everything Runs in Sync

High-performance signal processing controls the image acquisition with minimal latencies and synchronizes the hardware peripherals of the image processing system – such as cameras, lighting, light barriers, rotary encoders, etc. – in real time. The Opto and TTL trigger boards extend the frame grabbers and enable a series connection of frame grabbers, triggers or peripherals.

More about the trigger boards
Frame grabber software

Frame Grabber Software – the Perfect Tool for the Frame Grabber

Software solutions for the configuration, testing and activation of the entire image processing system – easy and flexible with microDiagnostics, microDisplay X and the frame grabber SDK. Components such as cameras can be exchanged and the entire system can be enhanced with additional features.

More on the frame grabber software
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