Update March 11th, 2011

PICCOLOR Newsletter Spring 2011

Again a lot has been done on the hardware side: extremely fast quad/six core processors by AMD and Intel have been presented, and especially the new Intel Sandy Bridge technology seems to shine in picCOLOR applications. Too bad the Sandy Bridge Chipset only has 16 PCIe lanes. Therefore more than one fast frame grabber cannot really be used at full speed. Hopefully the new (Intel: Sandy Bridge Server, AMD: Bulldozer) processors arriving in Summer 2011 will remedy this problem. Several functions have been extended to run on up to 16 cores showing an extreme speed up on respective machines.
Some more frame grabber manufacturers have finally developed 64bit drivers for their excellent PCI-Express (PCIe) frame grabbers.
The big problem of 64 bit drivers for the digital I/O cards has been solved: Decision Computer International and National Instruments finally offer 64 bit drivers that have been tested in picCOLOR!
New frame grabbers or camera interfaces have been adapted for picCOLOR. This is important as it allows to have a second source for high speed full and extended CameraLink besides the Dalsa/Coreco grabbers.
Euresys developed a new CameraLink Full grabber, the GrabLink Full, that has an extraordinary good price.
With the new Vosskuehler CMC4000 camera and the new DALSA Xcelera CL+ PX8 frame grabbers in double full CameraLink configuration the speed limit has been extended to 1.5GB/s! This translates to 400fps at a resolution of 2240x1728 pixel. Technical data for this new concept can be send on request.

Some of the new functions implemented in the past year are:

New functions in the picCOLOR basic program:

- National Instruments (NI) NI-DAQmx Software was implemented, enabling to use all NI-Digital/Analog cards (32 and 64 bit)
- 64bit DII driver for the Digital I/O and Timer/Counter card has been tested.
- 64bit NI-IMAQ driver for the NI1429 and NI1430 frame grabbers has been tested under real 64 bit systems
- PCO SC2 API for FireWire and CameraLink cameras has been implemented as a primary grabber interface
- Flat-field correction has been implemented for stereo systems and for real-time applications.
- New arithmetic function: Add cyclic with exception value
- Hough functions were greatly enhanced and can now be used for lines, circles, and ellipses
- TIFF images with true color 16 bit (48 bit) format can be loaded.
- Neuronal Network processing was implemented. This can be used for character recognition
- Many other minor improvements of the basic functions are implemented

3D/Sequence extension module:

- The time stamps from acquisition can now be stored to the images or read from the images

2D/3D Real Time Object Tracking Extension Module:

- Complete calibration is now possible using the TSAI camera/world model
- Different new options to define and determine markers that are non-visible
- Error vectors or differences of reference and result vectors can be displayed
- The status line of 2D- or 3D-data now gives even more information (frame index, time stamp of both frame grabbers in stereo mode, lost frames)
- Color coded real time display of the found/not found markers helps debugging real time tracking problems
- Marker locations can now been edited
- Many other minor improvements of the Real Time Tracking module are implemented

Stereometric measurement and display module:

- 3D terrain display and 3D-vector display was greatly enhanced

Bar code module:

- More parameters can be selected to adapt for very small codes
- Quiet zones can now be smaller than recommended

OCR/OCV Character recognition and rotation module:

- OCR by neuronal network was implemented

Available special modules:

- 3D/Sequence processing
- Interferometry
- Stereometric measurement and display
- Particle Image Velocimetry / Particle tracking (PIV/PTV), also as Library or DLL
- 2D/3D-Position-Tracking in Real Time
- Fringe Correlation Method (for surface deflection measurement)
- True Color Extensions
- 1D/2D Bar Code Reader
- OCR/OCV Character recognition and rotation
- Real Time Processing
- Neuronal Network Processing
- User-Programming in "C"

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