Choosing the Right Frame Grabber for Your Machine Vision Application

frame grabber machine vision applicationsFrame grabbers can play an important role helping a machine vision system achieve maximum speed and throughput in a wide variety of applications. While they are not always a necessary part of a quality machine vision system, certain applications call for the simplicity and additional image capture capabilities of a frame grabber.

Frame grabbers are particularly good at facilitating high data rates, sometimes up to 25 GB/s or more. With a frame grabber, you can delegate all acquisition and I/O synchronization to a single device, freeing up a CPU for other tasks.

There are many benefits to using a frame grabber, but with so many options out there with diverse technical features and capabilities, how do you know which one is right for your machine vision application?

4 Considerations for Finding the Right Frame Grabber

To find the right frame grabber for your machine vision system, there are 4 main considerations to take into account.

Camera Interface and Software Compatibility

The type of interface your machine vision cameras use will immediately narrow down the list of options, as certain frame grabbers only come with certain connections. Additionally, the software environment of the application must be compatible with the frame grabber for it to work.

Camera Type and Application

Whether your camera is an area scan or line scan camera, 2D or 3D, or has a high or low frame rate determines the type of frame grabber you will need. Is the camera used in rugged industrial conditions, or difficult outdoor settings? All of these things impact the performance required from a frame grabber.

Sensor Characteristics

The speed of the camera’s sensor may dictate the use of a high-end frame grabber if it must keep up with high speeds. Chromaticity matters too, as color images require more bandwidth. If a sensor has a high resolution, the frame grabber will need to be able to support these resolutions.

Multi-Channel System Configuration

If you have multiple sources of video streams, not all frame grabbers will be suitable. Be sure to find a frame grabber with the right connections, capable of handling the configuration of your machine vision system.

Choosing a frame grabber isn’t always easy, but by assessing your application and considering the 4 characteristics mentioned above you can narrow down your options.

For more information or for assistance with product selection, browse high quality frame grabbers from Phase 1 Technology.