The X Factor
Camera Link HS: The Path to 50Gbps and Beyond
Inexpensive IP core speeds development and implementation of Camera Link HS for camera and frame grabber manufacturers. CLHS is poised to provide significantly expanded capability (50Gbps and beyond) in upcoming releases.
The CLHS X Protocol can use the provided physical coding sublayer (PCS) module to implement code within 10Gbps frame grabbers.
The CLHS X Protocol can use the provided physical coding sublayer (PCS) module to implement code within 10Gbps frame grabbers. Bild: Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

Getting to 50Gbps and Beyond

With FPGA and PHY technology ready to support 50Gbps and higher rates, CLHS is poised to deliver powerful real-time camera interfacing at even higher imaging rates. The features and capabilities already in place in the CLHS standard stand to make the path to 50Gbps effortless. The CLHS working group has leveraged the existing X Protocol IP core, adding a simple bridge from the 64bit output of the X Protocol IP core PCS to the 128bit input of 50Gbps FPGAs with built-in SerDes blocks. To achieve 50Gbps speeds, CLHS will introduce a virtual channel using a master and slave channel (or lane) all in one fiber. With this minor change in the specification, component vendors will be able to easily migrate to the higher-speed interfacing with minimal impact on hardware and software architecture.

Future of Frame Grabbers

The Camera Link HS standard is built for the future of imaging in its implementation of general IP cores, open-source VHDL, and inherent advanced line encoding and error correction. One key to future-proofing the standard is the seamless support for fiber cabling, something that may become standard in most imaging environments. Fiber cable is not fragile or more susceptible to bending, wrapping, or pinching than traditional copper wire. With current technologies, fiber is easy to work with and is field installable and modifiable. Able to carry more than twice the bandwidth of copper at distances of many kilometers, fiber is also less expensive than copper wire. Already a robust imaging interface, Camera Link HS continues to improve. Its use of 64b/66b encoding in 2012 still provides manufacturers and end users a long design cycle from 10Gbps all the way up to 50Gbps. The standard’s many features and capabilities make it stand out as a definitive choice in high-speed imaging applications both now and in the future.

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Bild: Edmund Optics GmbH
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