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From Gigabit Ethernet and GigE Vision to 5GigE

GigE Vision Logo

Over the past few years, Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) has become the fastest growing interface for digital cameras in the professional imaging sector. It is a general-purpose interface that has the potential to be the first digital interface to replace existing analog camera systems in almost any application.

Focus on flexibility: Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet offers the greatest technical flexibility in terms of bandwidth, cable length and multi-camera functionality. This interface is the right choice for data rates up to 0.96Gbit/s and cable lengths up to 100 meters. It makes even complex multi-camera installations very simple.

Finally, GigE cameras offer the option to obtain power over the data line using Power over Ethernet (PoE). This requires the use of appropriate Gigabit Ethernet cables, cards in the PC or special switches or hubs, or small PoE injectors that are connected between the PC and the camera. Since PoE supply no longer requires the use of an additional cable for power supply, the entire installation effort is simplified, especially in applications with little installation space. Furthermore, the use of only one cable for power supply and data transmission reduces costs by requiring fewer parts to be purchased and installed.

Simply integrated: GigE Vision Standard

In addition to the physical interface defined in the Gigabit Ethernet standard, users are particularly impressed by the clear and logical implementation of the GigE Vision standard. It enables simple integration into all image processing programs with the help of software libraries. In addition, new investments and follow-up costs for cameras that follow the GigE standard can be easily estimated and planned since replacement of GigE-compatible cameras can be completed without changing the system setup.

Key advantages of the GigE interface:

  • High data rates
  • Usability of existing Ethernet infrastructure
  • Cable length up to 100 m
  • Easy integration into all image processing applications (libraries)
  • High degree of standardization through Gigabit Ethernet and GigE Vision standards
  • PoE functionality: power supply for the camera via the data cable

Advanced capabilities: GigE Vision Standard Version 2.0

With this version of the GigE Vision Standard, multi-camera systems can be synchronized more precisely and/or operated in real time under GigE Vision 2.0. An important component of the GigE Vision Standard Version 2.0 is the Precision Time Protocol (PTP). PTP standardizes the way components in the system synchronize their time, offering precision on the order of a few nanoseconds. The GigE Vision 2.0 standard is backward compatible, so cameras running GigE Vision 2.0 will also work with software and hardware designed for GigE Vision version 1.2.

Upgrade options to 5GigE

  • USB customers who are interested in a longer cable length and enjoy the plug-and-play setup will be happy with 5GigE. You don't have to rely on frame grabber technology (as with CoaXPress or Camera Link) and still get a stable, future-proof interface. Basler offers the same small "Sugarcube" camera format you’re used to with all the benefits of 5GigE.
  • CXP-6 customers who have relied on the CoaXPress 1.0 standard will find 5GigE an excellent alternative to the CoaXPress 2.0 standard. The system setup changes noticeably, but the benefits 5GigE offers are well worth the effort. An upgrade to 5Gige is highly recommended.
  • For GigE customers, switching to 5GigE can quickly achieve 5x the speed with a simple system rebuild. You stay in the same form factor of the camera and can look forward to easy system upgrades.
GigE Vision Standard Version 2.0

Cable length depending on cable quality and types.

Higher, Faster, Further: 5GigE

The need for increasingly powerful image processing systems in almost all areas of industry is also driving the development of GigE. With higher bandwidth, long cable lengths of up to 100 meters, and compatibility of all hardware and software components, 5GigE is likely to establish itself very quickly as the fast interface for industrial cameras. 5GigE cameras, as the name suggests, have five times the bandwidth of the "simple" GigE camera and can realize five times faster data transmission at the same resolution. Upgrading an existing GigE system to 5GigE can be done without additional new vision hardware, as the same Gigabit Ethernet cables of the previous versions can be used to achieve this significantly higher speed. As a result, 5GigE cameras are not only excellent for vision applications with extreme cable lengths - they also leverage the existing cable infrastructure. This saves time, effort, and most importantly costs during installation.

Basler's current 5GigE product range offers twelve new ace 2 camera models, with matching lenses, cables and PC cards. Particularly worth mentioning is our pylon Camera Software Suite: proven to provide an uncomplicated upgrade when switching from a USB 3.0 setup or the 1:1 replacement of an existing GigE system.

Have questions about the benefits of GigE technology? Want to find out if you can improve your system's performance using 5GigE? We are happy to help.

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