We have detected your current browser version is not the latest one. Xilinx.com uses the latest web technologies to bring you the best online experience possible. Please upgrade to a Xilinx.com supported browser:Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11, Safari. Thank you!

High-speed laser-tracking Photonfocus video cameras adjust automatically over small positional drifts, aided by Spartan-6 FPGA

by Xilinx Employee ‎10-15-2015 11:32 AM - edited ‎01-06-2016 11:13 AM (61,081 Views)


Upgraded intelligence built into the 2048x1088-pixel 3D03 and 2048x2048-pixel 3D04 series of high-frame-rate GigE video cameras from Photonfocus—used for laser triangulation in machine- and embedded-vision systems—now automatically adjusts for small positional drifts over time and temperature and unexpected shifts caused by small height variations in the target workpiece using the cameras’ new automatic ROI (Region of Interest) tracking features. In addition, Photonfocus says it has boosted the high-speed scan rate for these cameras. These new capabilities are already supported by MVTec’s Halcon machine-vision development environment and National Instruments’ LabVIEW system-design software through available software drivers.




PhotonFocus 3D04 Laser-Triangulation Video Camera.jpg 


Photonfocus 3D04 Programmable GigE Laser-Triangulation Video Camera



If the position of the imaged laser line shifts for any reason, the selected ROI may no longer include the laser line image. In such an event, the Photonfocus 3D03 and 3D04 cameras can fall back into a search mode that re-acquires the laser-line position with a larger (and slower-scanning) ROI and then switch back to the smaller ROI scanned at each camera’s maximum rate, which is now 10,204 and 7740 frames/sec (!!!) respectively for the 3D03 and the higher-resolution 3D04 cameras. Only a few high-speed image scans are lost through this automated procedure because the required algorithms and intelligence are integrated into the cameras. High-speed calculations needed to implement these in-camera features including 1D FFT image filtering, non-linear data-point fitting, and peak-position detection with sub-pixel accuracy are performed by an integrated Xilinx Spartan-6 LX75T FPGA.


There are three key system-design lessons embedded this new product announcement by Photonfocus.


  1. By incorporating an FPGA into the original design of its 3D03 and 3D04 cameras, Photonfocus was able to add significant and competitive new capabilities to its products—much valued and demanded by its customers—without BOM changes or a pc-board redesign. This is a hallmark of FPGA-based system design. You get options long after the design is done—valuable options that keep your product in the game over an extended product lifetime. This Photonfocus announcement proves the point.


  1. Photonfocus introduced two hyperspectral GigE video cameras in June, based on the same Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA. (See “Hyperspectral GigE video cameras from Photonfocus see the unseen @ 42fps for diverse imaging applications.”) Note that the image sensors in the HS01 and HS02 hyperspectral cameras and the laser-line-scanning 3D03 and 3D04 cameras are significantly different and place different requirements on the cameras’ imaging subsystems. FPGA-based design allows you to develop very flexible hardware system platforms that can handle widely varying requirements, from which you can spin numerous related products with only incremental development costs—as Photonfocus has done for its cameras.


  1. The Spartan-6 FPGA family is now more than half a decade old yet it’s still very much a workhorse—a cost-effective workhorse—for many, many new video and vision applications including these innovative video camera families from Photonfocus.