The Karbon CL family has been discontinued.  Please contact our sales team for further information and availability. If you are looking to begin a new Camera Link project please view our current products at http://www.bitflow.com/products/details/axion-cl

Karbon-CL4-SP is a special version of the Karbon-CL designed to handle the latest 80-bit 85 MHz cameras. These are the fastest cameras supported by the Camera Link standard and are currently produced by most of the top camera manufacturers. Because the data rate of these cameras is so high, both of the DMA engines on the Karbon-CL4-SP are needed to move this incredible amount of data to the host. This means that the Karbon-CL4-SP can support only one 85 MHz 80-bit camera. This frame grabber was developed in response to OEM demand and, to eliminate unnecessary costs, components not used in this configuration have been removed. The most likely user are the OEM customers that deploy products using only one camera (and don't need the flexibility offered by the standard CL4-F model). However, the "SP" model can still acquire from any base, medium or full CL camera made today.

FlowThru Architecture

For well over 10 years, BitFlow's camera interface products have been built around our revolutionary FlowThru architecture. Comprised of a user-programmable Video Pipeline, a flexible Camera Control Unit, efficient high-speed video FIFOs and a highly-optimized scatter/gather DMA engine, the FlowThru architecture allows the Karbon-CL to control, acquire, reformat, and transfer video data directly into the user's application at camera speeds with zero latency or CPU usage. Our FlowThru architecture has been continuously optimized and enhanced to support a wide variety of imaging applications such as document/package processing, semiconductor, continuous web inspection, sequence capture, and motion analysis. It can easily be adapted to the specific needs of your application.

PCI Express Interface

The Karbon-CL uses a x8 PCI Express bus interface. The PCI Express bus offers huge increases in DMA performance over the PCI bus. However, what is less well known is that the PCI Express bus is always peer to peer, which means that the Karbon-CL does not share the bus with any other devices. In most motherboard architectures, it will talk directly to the PCI chipset that is on the memory bus. This direct connection equates to higher sustained DMA bandwidths regardless of system load. Most motherboards also support concurrent full DMA speed on all of their PCI Express slots. The board will work in any slot that it fits in. This means not only x16 and x8 slots, but also, as is becoming the trend, x4 and x1 slots that use x16 connectors. Performance will be degraded in x1 and x4 slots, but the board will work fine in applications that don't require maximum data rate.

Camera Control and I/O

Supported by a GUI camera file editing utility (CamEd), the Karbon can acquire fixed or variable size images and features a programmable ROI (Region Of Interest) sub-windowing capability. The board provides a full set of camera control signals (CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4) and sync inputs (LVAL, FVAL, PCLK, trigger, and encoder) for each camera connected to the board (up to four cameras can be connected). These signals are completely independent, although there are provisions for driving all cameras from a signal set up encoder/trigger signals. There is also a large number of programmable general purpose outputs and inputs that are not tied to the camera's timing. The Karbon-CL board, as with our past interface products, supports not only simple triggering modes, but also complicated, application-specific triggering, and control interactions with your hardware environment.

  • Half-Size x8 PCI Express Board
  • Up to 80 bits input at 85 MHz
  • Acquire from one Base/Medium/Full/80-bit CL cameras
  • FlowThru technology eliminates the need for on-board frame buffers, even with the fastest cameras
  • Multi-tap cameras rasterized on the fly
  • Highly configurable acquisition engine
  • DMA at burst rates up to 2.0 GB/S
  • Supports images up to 256K x 128K
  • No frame rate limit
  • Quadrature encoder support including sophisticated triggering schemes
  • Encoder divider/multiplier
  • On board timing generator supports high-resolution exposure control
  • Independent trigger and encoder inputs for each camera
  • Independent CCs outputs for each camera
  • General purpose I/O
  • MDR Camera Link connectors
  • Supported by the BitFlow SDK on 32 and 64-bit Windows
  • Acquire image sequences well beyond the 4 GB barrier
  • Drivers, utilities and examples for Windows and Linux
  • RoHS Complaint


  • One or two independent base CL cameras


  • One base, medium or full CL camera


  • Up to four independent base CL cameras


  • Up to two independent base, medium or full CL cameras


  • One 80-bit 85 MHz camera

SDK 5.00 or later required