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High frame rate megapixel inspection camera range

Multipix Imaging : 27 February, 2009  (New Product)
The Basler A400k series of cameras for inspection systems now includes a 4 megapixel model with camera link interface
High frame rate megapixel inspection camera range
Multipix Imaging launch the new Basler A406k camera providing 209 fps at the full resolution of 2320x1726 pixels. It is available in both monochrome and colour and extends the portfolio of Basler A400k series. This camera series, which includes the A402k (24 fps), the A403k (48 fps), and the A404k (96 fps), is used very successfully in automated optical inspection systems to verify the position and soldering quality of devices on populated, soldered PCBs. When the camera is used with the supplied AOI (area-of-interest) list editor, it is possible to change the size, position, and exposure time of a series of AOIs extremely quickly. This is a significant advantage because the Camera Link serial communications channel normally used to change camera parameters is limited to only 115k baud and would be too slow to make these rapid changes to the AOI. This is especially true given the high frame rate of the A406k.

To achieve such high frame rates, the A400 family uses a CMOS sensor with a rolling shutter. With the help of a flash window that provides an output signal when all of the lines in the sensor are ready for exposure, a global shutter is simulated. The A400k is calibrated and corrected to achieve one of the best image qualities available. One correction takes care of any deviations in the camera's 2352 ADCs (analog-to digital converters). The fixed pattern noise (FPN) that is typical for a CMOS sensor is also corrected, as is the photo response non-uniformity (PRNU). The combined result is an image very close to CCD quality, even in a 10 bit mode. The data reading out of the sensor result in up to a 2.4 gigabyte per second data stream inside of the camera, which equates to nearly four full CDs of data per second.

The A406k can provide 209 frames per second (fps) at full resolution. This rate is possible via a 10 tap, 85 MHz Camera Link configuration, transferring approximately 800 megabytes of data per second. This bandwidth limits the A406k to a maximum data depth of 8 bits. PCI Express-based frame grabbers with eight lanes (PCIe x8) are used to handle this large data volume in the PC.
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