BitFlow Firsts and Events
BitFlow continues to expand the accessories of frame grabbers with the BitBox. In the past, BitFlow has offered cabling and testing IO Boards, but this leap of engineering enables customers to incorporate their I/O devices directly into the frame grabber.
At Vision in Stuttgart, BitFlow introduces the Aon, a single link CXP board capable of running a single link CXP camera at 6.25Gb/S.
A busy year for the development team at BitFlow. Year 22 sees the arrival of four new frame grabbers. The mindset of BitFlow is to look after all it’s customers, including the legacy ones. With that, the Neon DIF was introduced, bringing LVDS to 64 bit systems for the first time. The Cyton family was expanded to include the Cyton CXP2 as the number of cameras with dual link CXP solutions continued to grow. Towards the end of the year, BitFlow affirmed confidence in the Camera Link market by introducing the Axion family, the first BitFlow Camera Link frame grabber to incorporate the experience of the CoaXPress boards into the Camera Link interface. Two models are produced allows for one or two 80-bit cameras to be connected on a single board with a PCIe Gen2 interface…and also with PoCL as an option.
BitFlow introduces support for DirectGMA, the AMD GPU option. BitFlow is now the only frame grabber company supporting both NVIDIA and AMD.
BitFlow is now exhibiting regularly at trade shows in Europe, Asia and the Americas as the popularity of CoaXPress grows. The prototype of the Axion is shown at Vision in Stuttgart.
BitFlow releases the Cyton CXP4. The Cyton is a leap forward for many reasons. It’s a quad link CXP-6 frame grabber, representing the the highest input data rate of any frame grabber made by BitFlow. Acquisition and DMA are handled by a brand new, designed-from-scratch, StreamSync Engine. The StreamSync engine has been designed to take maximal use of the available PCIe DMA bandwidth, while also being incredibly flexible with regards to acquisition. The power of the StreamSync engine will become more important as new cameras come out with complicated ROI capabilities. The Cyton has too many innovations to list here, but it go down as one of BitFlow biggest technology leaps.
As a result of the much larger data rates of CoaXPress (up to 2.5 GB/S) BitFlow introduces support for NVIDIA’s GPU Direct for Video technology.
BitFlow celebrates its 20th anniversary! It’s hard for us to believe that we have been doing this for 20 years. We started as small dedicated team focused on a small but important part of the machine vision market. This focus, and keeping to our core strengths, have made BitFlow a thriving business for all these years. There’s no point in changing our strategy this far along, here’s to another 20 years!
BitFlow releases its first CoaXPress frame grabber, the Karbon-CXP. There are two models: the Karbon-CXP2 and Karbon-CXP4. CoaXPress is just starting to take off, and many of the camera companies introduced CoaXPress cameras in 2012. BitFlow shows six different CXP cameras running in its booth at Vision 2012 Stuttgart. Though this was a big project, and well received by both the industry and customers, development never stops at BitFlow. The hardware engineers are busy working on the next generation CXP frame grabber, the Cyton, which will use BitFlow’s brand new PCIe Gen 2.0 interface. The Cyton has many new features designed especially for the machine vision market.
2011 will probably go down in machine vision history as the year of the camera interface specification. At least three brand new, start-from-scratch standards were announced: USB3 Vision, CoaXPress (CXP) and Camera Link High Speed (CL-HS). While some can claim this will lead to market confusion, folks that have been around a while know machine vision customers are generally pretty smart and can figure out which camera interconnect best suits their application needs. BitFlow, looking at its options, decided to start with CoaXPress, as it seems to be both the most shovel ready specification and the most closely aimed at BitFlow’s current market focus. BitFlow quickly built on the success of its Karbon family of frame grabbers by developing and releasing the Karbon-CXP.
BitFlow releases the Neon CLQ. While the Neon CLD was considered a breakthrough in terms of price/performance for multi-camera systems, the Neon CLQ pushes the envelope even further. The Neon-CLQ supports four base cameras in a single PCIe slot. Since it is based on its siblings, the Neon CLD and Neon CLB, there is very little risk and/or development time required to move to the four camera Neon. However, the cost per cameras is much lower than its siblings or anything else available on the market.
BitFlow releases the Neon-CLD, shattering the price/performance barrier for acquisition from two Camera Link cameras in a single PC slot. The Neon CLD is based on BitFlow popular Neon-CLB single base CL frame grabber. However, the CLD supports two base CL cameras at their full data rate in a x4 PCIe slot. BitFlow has always opening up new territory of imaging applications by making new technology affordable. The Neon CLD pushes the envelope even further make drastically reducing the price of a two camera system.
BitFlow releases its Software Development Kit (SDK) version 5.00. This new release supports all of BitFlow’s modern frame grabbers. It supports all current versions of Windows, up to (and including) Vista. But more importantly, it fully supports all 64-bit versions of Windows (including x64 Vista). Microsoft has made support of the x64 version of Vista much more difficult than previous versions. BitFlow knows that its customers need to be on the cutting edge of technology, so we pushed hard to get x64 Vista support out as quickly as possible.
BitFlow releases the Alta-AN. The Alta-AN is an affordable, versatile analog product family for Semiconductor and Industrial Vision OEMs. This family can acquire from almost any analog camera on the market, from high speed asynchronous-reset monochrome cameras to super high resolution color HDTV cameras. The Alta can acquire from four independent cameras simultaneously. Because the Alta is in the PCIe bus there is no bottleneck, even when acquiring from four HDTV cameras data into host memory. The Alta frame grabbers are high-quality, flexible PCI Express bus imaging products that are well supported by an easy-to-use SDK and drivers for the most popular software imaging packages.
BitFlow releases the Neon CLB, the world’s first Power over Camera Link (PoCL) frame grabber. PoCL is the new Camera Link (CL) standard for providing power to the camera over the CL cable. The Neon-CL supports base Camera Link cameras (both PoCL and traditional CL). With the Neon-CL, Camera Link now supports simple, one-cable installations while providing data rates up to 255 megabytes per second! The Neon CLB also breaks all the price performance barriers by providing an incredibly powerful PCIe frame grabber, PoCL support, I/O, and camera connector all on one bracket. BitFlow’s FlowThru technology at its price the will make OEMs forget the competition.
BitFlow releases the Karbon-CL. The Karbon-CL is the first quad Base Camera Link frame grabber. It can handle four base, two medium, or full (including the 10-tap CL variant). The Karbon-CL is also the first member of the Karbon family of frame grabbers. This family offers an x8 PCI Express interface, capable of up to 2.0 GB/S. The platform is also the first to support BitFlow’s virtual frame grabber system. This system allows a tremendous amount of customization, as the platform can support an unlimited variety of virtual frame grabbers on the same hardware. The virtual frame grabber system opens the doors for OEMs that need highly specialize interfaces.
BitFlow is the first frame grabber company to announce drivers for the 64-bit versions of Windows. With the advent of 64-bit addressing, image sizes and image sequence sizes can grow to unimaginable sizes. 32-bit operating systems limited users to 4 GB of memory, with the actual image memory limit usually much less than 2 GB. With 64-bit drivers, these limitations are a thing of the past.
BitFlow releases the R64e, the first (shipping) Camera Link interface on the PCI Express bus. The PCI Express is clearly the future peripheral interconnect standard for the PC. BitFlow provides a camera interface path to its customers with the R64e. Data rates jump to 500 MB/S and open up new opportunities for high speed machine vision.
BitFlow announces the new R64-CL Camera Link interface product to support the 64-bit/66 MHz PCI bus. Featuring BitFlow’s FlowThru architecture, preliminary benchmarking on the R64 demonstrates the ability to support 380 MB/sec sustained data transfer across the PCI bus and into local memory. BitFlow will also release SDK 4.00 to support the R64 as well as all other active product lines.
BitFlow demonstrates its new PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC) version of its R3-CL product to support embedded applications alongside the R64-CL at the Vision Show in Santa Clara.
BitFlow releases the R3 product line to support Differential and Camera Link cameras in various configurations. The R3 product offers a reduced number of models and a lower price point while providing the same performance and flexibility. This product is released in parallel with SDK 3.00, which will also support all existing product lines. SDK 3.00 also features the new BufIn API that is specifically designed to streamline the development of applications requiring circular buffer management or sequence capture. This new API is supported by two new example applications, BitFlow and Circ. In addition, our new GUI camera configuration file editing utility, CamEd, is also released.
BitFlow releases its first Camera Link product, the Road Runner CL, in support of the new standard. SDK 2.00 is also released and features an example application called Flow. Flow allows users to perform real-time sequence capture directly to system memory at rates of up to 100 MB/sec sustained.
BitFlow announces and demonstrates one of the industry’s first Camera Link products at the Vision Show in San Jose, CA.
BitFlow introduces the Raven Universal Analog camera interface to the industry. Featuring BitFlow’s proven FlowThru architecture, the Raven offers superior performance and flexibility over competing products. SDK 1.26 is released in parallel with the Raven and features the new Common Camera Interface (Ci) API that allows for board independent application development.
BitFlow develops dynamic line triggering capability for the postal inspection market. This technology allows postal applications to acquire variable length documents through the use of a start of document trigger input. This technology, coupled with its FlowThru architecture, allows the Road Runner to become the frame grabber of choice among worldwide postal system integrators.
BitFlow releases the Road Runner product line as the world’s first PCI bus-mastering digital frame grabber. Featuring BitFlow’s new FlowThru architecture, which combines high-speed video FIFOs with a highly optimized scatter/gather DMA, the Road Runner is the only frame grabber in the industry to utilize this technology.
BitFlow announces full Windows NT 3.51 support for its Raptor product line and represents the first product in the industry to be fully supported by Windows NT.
BitFlow releases the PCI-based Raptor product.
BitFlow releases its first product, the Raptor, as the world’s first local bus frame grabber. Based on the VESA local bus, the Raptor is capable of interfacing to analog and digital industrial cameras.
BitFlow is founded in the summer of 1993 by an experienced group of engineers from the imaging industry that knew they could do it better.