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PC Cards for Multi-Camera Systems in Comparison

This White Paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of the common camera interfaces GigE, USB and CoaXPress, with regard to multi-camera systems. It defines the most advantageous interface for such systems, and discusses PC cards as the most important component in a multi-camera system. These PC cards form the interface to the camera used and are installed in the PC for smooth image acquisition and transfer. Due to a simple infrastructure of standardized components, high data transfer rates and long cables as well as scalability for future requirements, GigE Interface Cards are ideally suited for multi-camera setups.

Since a conventional PC often only has one GigE port, which is usually occupied for machine control, these cards are indispensable for such a scenario. In addition, machine vision cameras require the full bandwidth of the port to which they are connected. Coupling several cameras via a distributor (usually switches) to the port available on the PC therefore fails due to the bandwidth of the port. The above-mentioned PC cards, which also allow a higher bandwidth at one port, provide a solution.

Accordingly, GigE interface cards with 1 Gbit and 1, 2 or 4 ports are usually used as PC cards for machine vision, and are also offered as a single cable solution with Power over Ethernet (PoE), as well as 10GigE interface cards.

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