CoaXPress-over-Fiber: the Light above the Copper Ceiling
Euresys has supported the Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA) in porting CoaXPress into the fiber optics world. This resulted in the newly published CoaXPress-over-Fiber Bridge Protocol Guideline in January 2021. The new standard has quickly raised interest and recognition with the first camera makers producing CXP-over-Fiber compatible models.
Initially comparable to the latest CXP-12 standard in terms of throughput (4x 10Gbps on a single QSFP+ module), the range on which it can be deployed is significantly extended to 150m on multi-mode fibers or 40km on single-mode fibers. With QSFP28 and QSFP56 one could soon expect capabilities for 4x 25Gbps and 4x 50Gbps respectively. Relying on the existing Ethernet standard (IEEE 802.3) the porting of the protocol to fiber has immediately ensured compatibility from the application integration standpoint. Existing and affordable fiber Ethernet hardware can be used to implement it. Euresys has already released the first frame grabber to implement CoaXPress-over-Fiber with the addition of the new Coaxlink QSFP+ to its Coaxlink series of frame grabbers.
First CXPoF-camera adoptions
Euresys works hand in hand with camera makers, offering specific IP Cores to integrate the new protocol into their device/transmitter or host/receiver devices. This has allowed several camera manufacturers to become early adopters of the new fiber-based protocol. Out of several companies in development of new camera models based on CXP-over-Fiber, some have already been open about their forthcoming new product releases planned for this year:
– Vision Research (USA):
Vision Research has demonstrated a prototype new model of their ultra-high speed camera series already in late 2020. The model is capable of acquiring images at full 4K resolution at nearly 1,000fps, and by narrowing down the ROI, it can achieve frame rates in excess of 500,000fps using just two QSFP+ connections. According to Lee Denaro, Senior Test Engineer for the Vision Research S991 CXP-over-Fiber project, „Not only did we adapt our next generation machine vision camera designs to use the Euresys/Sensor-to-Image CXP IP Core, we also were able to relatively quickly implement the new CXP-over-Fiber using their new CXPoF Bridge IP Core. This, combined with the active technical support of Euresys, allowed us to promote this new approach for broad industry adoption with the standards committees. Using their new Coaxlink QSFP+ CXPoF frame grabber and eGrabber software, we were able to realize a dual QSFP+ implementation perfectly matching our high performance machine vision cameras. Rather than requiring the use of 16 coax cables to carry the full bandwidth of our sensors to the host PC, this can now be done with just two, much lighter and longer, fiber optic cables without the need for any additional hardware. Streamlined implementation and improved operational performance combined.“ (www.phantomhighspeed.com)
– CIS Corporation (Japan):
The camera maker has recently seen their new 4K/240 fps camera validated utilizing a single QSFP+ fiber connection. The camera is also capable of higher frame rates by specifying a smaller ROI, and will soon offer CXP-over-Fiber cameras. „We have been using fiber optics to connect machine vision cameras to frame grabbers in Japan for many years. We are now happy to support the newly released CXP-over-Fiber international standard by developing compatible cameras“, says Yusuke Muraoka, President, CIS Corp. (www.ciscorp.co.jp)
– Vieworks (Korea):
„Vieworks line of CXP cameras is very successful and we see CXP-over-Fiber as a way to move forward, opening up opportunities for even higher resolution and higher speed cameras“, says Ryan Kyung, Sales Team Leader at Vieworks. (vision.vieworks.com)
– IO Industries (Canada):
„Our cameras and video recording systems gained praises from customers across many application areas for their cabling reliability and simplicity. We also identified many applications calling for longer cable length and increased speed, without compromising the reliable point-to-point connection, deterministic timing and high throughput offered by CXP. Adopting the CXP-over-Fiber protocol with a single QSFP+ optical interface for our Redwood camera family, supporting 45MP and 65MP CMOS sensors, is for IO Industries a timely, state of the art, response to our most up to date customers“, says Andrew Searle, Sales Manager at IO Industries. (www.ioindustries.com)
„In the coming months, we are convinced to see several more camera makers announcing new models based on the CXP-over-Fiber extension of the CXP standard. We expect rapid adoption by the industry of this very high-performance interface compatible with light weight and commonly available fiber optic cables and transceivers coming from the data networking environment. These widely available cables and components mean a much more cost-effective, reliable and non-proprietary fiber infrastructure for years to come“, says Marc Damhaut, CEO at Euresys.