BitFlow and COVID-19

VALIDITY confirmed May 19th, 2020.

To our valued customer network,

We appreciate your commitment to BitFlow during this truly unique time as we work to overcome the challenges related to COVID-19. As we have seen worldwide it is the strength of our communities that will help us past this hurdle.

These same communities are depending on your ability to sustain all production that is deemed necessary and vital to the control of this pandemic.

In  April, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all MA businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close.  As of May 19th 2020, the state of MA has eased restrictions on some businesses and organizations.

As a key supplier to essential businesses BitFlow is continuing to maintain operations with a minimum staff level in line with the order.  Our non essential employees are all working remotely and are able to assist you in real time.

Our support team can be reached at support@bitflow.com

Our sales team can be reached at sales@bitflow.com

Should anything change, we will update you accordingly. Please be sure to keep an eye on our website (www.bitflow.com/news) , and also follow us on Twitter (@BitFlowInc) for latest news.

Sincerely,

Avner Butnaru, CEO
Reynold Dodson, President

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New Whitepaper to Help Machine Vision Designers Control CoaXPress Cameras for Greater Flexibility and Lower Costs

Claxon CXP4

WOBURN, MA, JUNE 23, 2020 – The challenges facing today’s machine vision integrators are more complicated and critical than ever before, as they strive to build faster, more accurate and cost-efficient systems in the wake of changing technology. To that end, BitFlow has published a new whitepaper Controlling CoaXPress Cameras from The BitFlow SDK Tools, Configuration File and APIs designed to help integrators new to the CoaXPress (CXP) standard introduce advanced CXP cameras into system infrastructure to shape positive outcomes.

CoaXPress is the world’s fastest standard for professional and industrial imaging applications such as machine vision, medical imaging, life sciences, broadcast and defense. It is an asymmetric point-to-point serial communication standard that transmits video and still images, scalable over single or multiple coaxial cables. It has a high speed downlink of up to 12.5 Gbps per cable for video, images and data, plus a lower speed uplink up to 42 Mbps for communications and control.

An invaluable learning tool, the 10-page whitepaper details the flexible CXP tools available in the BitFlow SDK (Software Development Kit), and how they work in concert to meet different application needs. It also provides examples showing optimization of a CXP machine vision system, accelerated and simplified by the BitFlow SDK.

The publication of the new whitepaper is part of the rollout of the new BitFlow Claxon CXP-12 PCIe Gen 3 frame grabber. CXP-12 is the latest CoaXPress speed jump, now transmitting video at 12. 5 Gb/S.

Get your copy here.

BitFlow Signs Strategic Distribution Partnership with Tietech to Expand Presence in Japan

WOBURN, MA, MAY 27, 2020 — BitFlow, a global leader in frame grabbers powering machine vision systems, today announced it has signed a new distribution agreement with ITANZI, a core company of Tietech Co., Ltd, headquartered in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. With this agreement, BitFlow and Tietech are ideally positioned to meet the growing demand in the Japanese market for high-speed machine vision components required for the Industry 4.0 era. Working together, both companies are poised to capture significant market share by bringing industry-leading vision technology to Japan’s massive industrial base.

Under its distribution partnership with BitFlow, Tietech is now the primary distributor of BitFlow grabbers and accessories in Japan, and is also providing system integration and factory automation services using BitFlow products. In addition, Tietech will provide localized technical support, and has exclusive rights to certain BitFlow products in Japan.

“We at Tietech are very pleased to be entering into this new chapter together with BitFlow. Their products will blend perfectly into our ITANZI portfolio, and we are looking forward to expanding into the Japanese machine vision market together,” said Mr. Masahito Murase, Company Chairman of ITANZI.

Donal Waide, Director of Sales for BitFlow, stated, “This is an exciting time for BitFlow and a chance to consolidate our position in the Japanese market. BitFlow has been present in the Japanese machine vision market for over 15 years and this new partnership will enable us to demonstrate our world class products at the highest level.”

ITANZI is the machine vision brand of Tietech Co., Ltd, a part of the Techno Horizon Holdings group.

BitFlow Introduces SDK for NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Development Kit

Jetson with a Claxon

BitFlow has released a Linux AArch64 (64-bit ARM) SDK that enables seamless integration of BitFlow frame grabbers with the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Development Kit. 

Donal Waide, Director of Sales for BitFlow, states, “Many of our customers are already using GPU solutions such as NVIDIA for image processing so adding this option to the already large BitFlow suite of adapters was a natural progression for the company. BitFlow has been supporting Linux for several years across a variety of flavors.”

Added Waide, “BitFlow was one of the first frame grabber companies to support NVIDIA’s GPUDirect for Video technology. BitFlow and NVIDIA have worked together for a number of years already.” 

With the advent of the new machine vision standard CXP 2.0 where data rates are now up to 50 Gb/S, customers are looking to process more and more data and in shorter timeframes. For this, a GPU can typically perform these tasks much more effectively than a CPU. Even with slower data rates such as Camera Link’s (up to 850 MB/S) the ability to quickly process more complex algorithms is equally important. 

The NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier is the first computer designed specifically for autonomous machines. It has six Engines onboard for accelerated sensors data processing and running autonomous machines software, and offers the performance and power efficiency for fully autonomous machines.

FLIR Recommends BitFlow Cyton CXP-4 CoaXPress Frame Grabber for ResearchIR Software

BitFlow received an important endorsement of its CoaXPress™ frame grabbers from FLIR®, the world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of thermal imaging infrared cameras. FLIR has recommended the BitFlow Cyton CXP-4 CoaXPress™ as a preferred frame grabber for FLIR ResearchIR™ software, a powerful and easy to-use thermal analysis software package for FLIR Research & Development / Science cameras.

While ResearchIR software is compatible with a variety of PCI Express (PCIe) frame grabbers, FLIR highlighted the Cyton CXP-4 as being an optimal way to maximize its performance. ResearchIR software connects directly to FLIR cameras via a frame grabber to acquire thermal snapshots or movie files, or to customize recording options including start times, end times, and the number of frames to acquire. In addition to ResearchIR, FLIR recommends the Cyton CXP-4 for its Research Studio software and its BHP SDK (Software Development Kit) which is used to write custom GUIs.

In a technical note, FLIR explained that standard CoaXPress frame grabbers may be difficult to get up and running with its BHP SDK. However, it pointed out that when the Bitflow Cyton CXP-4 is resident in a workstation where ResearchIR has been loaded, both the driver and camera configuration files will already be installed, saving the integrator considerable time wasted downloading drivers and additional supporting software.

The BitFlow Cyton CXP4 four-channel frame grabber is based on the CoaXPress standard. It incorporates the Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface on its back end, doubling the data rate of the Gen 1.0 bus for high-speed access to host memory in multicamera systems, while using the same compact footprint and connectors. By supporting the CoaXPress standard on its front end, the board facilitates video capture speeds of up to 6.25 Gb/s in applications deploying one to four CXP-6 cameras. It also allows control commands, triggers and power to be sent to and from cameras over the same 75 Ohm coaxial cable.

BitFlow Confirms Coronavirus Will Not Delay Frame Grabber Shipments to Customers

 
WOBURN, MA, MARCH 4, 2020 — Responding to customer inquiries, BitFlow announced today that it does not expect to face delivery delays of its frame grabbers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak originating in Wuhan, China.
BitFlow’s manufacturing facilities are located within the United States where the virus has not impacted production. The company is now actively managing it’s supply chain, adding domestic sources, and stocking long lead items to offset the effects of anticipated delays in the marketplace and meet global demand.
“In the best interests of our customers, BitFlow is monitoring the rapidly evolving outbreak and wants to reassure the professionals who depend on our products that we expect no manufacturing delays in the coming months,” said Jim Locke, Chief Financial Officer, BitFlow, Inc. “Our hearts go out to all those whose health, loved ones and communities have been affected by the coronavirus.”
As with the vast majority of global industries, machine vision has been put on edge by COVID-19. For example, Laser World of Photonics, scheduled to take place in Shanghai from March 18 to 20, has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Chinese machine vision market that sprung up over the last decade is valued at approximately $1.1 billion dollars, or 11.0% of the global total, according to market research.
About BitFlow
BitFlow has been developing reliable, high-performance Frame Grabbers for use in imaging applications since 1993. BitFlow is the leader in Camera Link frame grabbers, building the fastest frame grabbers in the world, with the highest camera/frame grabber densities, triggering performance, and price. With thousands of boards installed throughout the world, into hundreds of imaging applications, BitFlow is dedicated to using this knowledge and experience to provide customers with the best possible image acquisition and application development solutions. BitFlow, located in Woburn, MA, has distributors and resellers located all over the world including Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Visit our website at www.bitflow.com.

BitFlow in San Jose, California 2019

BitFlow will be exhibiting at the CRAV conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose from Tuesday November 12th through Wednesday November 13th.  Come stop by tabletop #63 to see our latest offerings.

BitFlow Partners with One Box Vision to Develop Cost-Effective PackFlow™ Packaging Inspection Bundle

WOBURN, MA, SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — BitFlow has partnered with engineering firm One Box Vision in developing the PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle that improves the way the packaging industry inspects materials printed on high-speed web presses.

Comparable in performance with vision systems costing thousands of dollars more, the PackFlow bundle features all the key components needed for a print machine manufacturer or system integrator to profit from a state-of-the-art vision system: line-scan cameras, BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabbers, software and LED illuminator. PackFlow installation optimizes a press’s return on investment by performing quality checks at the full speed of the production line.

PackFlow is the first complete bundle that enables a vision inspection system to be installed on a new or in-operation printing press using standard hardware. In the past, a system integrator would use proprietary hardware that required custom coding based on machine vision libraries that typically fail when running at the high data rates associated with 100% print inspection. PackFlow eliminates that costly barrier so that packaging customers can focus CapEx resources on innovation and achieving business objectives.

Contributing to PackFlow’s success is the BitFlow Axion-CL 2xE frame grabber based on the Camera Link (CL) 2.0 specification. Even though the CL specification has been around a long time, it is still one of the simplest, most efficient, and least expensive ways to get high-volume camera data into a computer. CL also benefits from the hundreds of thousands of pieces of CL equipment sold worldwide. The BitFlow Axion-CL is the most powerful CL frame grabber BitFlow has ever manufactured, featuring a StreamSync Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine and buffer manager to prevent overloading of the CPU with image transfer operations, along with a PCIe Gen 2 expansion bus to deliver high-speed access to host memory. It supports Base, Medium, Full or 80-Bit mode Camera Link area and line scan, color and monochrome cameras with PoCL capabilities.

PACKFLOW IN ACTION
Printing is a material-intensive and relatively low-margin industry. Printers are under continuous pressure to boost productivity and improve output quality while at the same time reducing production costs. Even a small reduction in waste levels can have a significant impact on the printer’s profitability.

This was the case for a major US packaging supplier that recently approached One Box Vision with a challenge. Its older Flexo and RotaGravure printing presses were equipped with vision components that suppliers would no longer support because they deemed them obsolete. Two key performance indicators — inspection quality and production uptime — had slipped to critical levels, requiring a new inspection solution.

Following an equipment survey, One Box Vision recommended its PackFlow 100% print inspection bundle for the older presses, powered in part by BitFlow frame grabbers. Operations immediately benefited from more accurate monitoring of stretched films, real-time job control, and higher resolution displays of register and ink lay down. Equally important, PackFlow was deployed at only 50% of the cost of purchasing replacement components from the previous suppliers, allowing the customer to invest savings on employee training to ensure the refurbished presses were utilized to their full potential.

For more information, please call 781-932-2900 or request more information.

About One Box Vision
One Box Vision develops and licenses automated machine vision solutions for manufacturing, and has developed a broad portfolio of packages for web and sheet inspection. We work with system integration companies, original equipment manufacturers and corporate engineering teams to design and implement advanced inspection and metro-logy solutions. Our key clients operate in the US, Brazil,UK, Germany India and South East Asia. Feel free to contact One Box Vision at www.oneboxvision.com

BitFlow Debuts NVIDIA-Powered CoaXPress Embedded Vision Solution at Laser World Of Photonics

WOBURN, MA — BitFlow, Inc., a global innovator in frame grabber technology, underscored its commitment to embedded vision by demonstrating a high-speed CoaXPress-NVIDIA® embedded imaging system at the recent Laser World of Photonics Show in Munich, Germany. This Small Form Factor (SFF) solution was engineered with lower hardware requirements so it can reside in compact devices or be integrated directly into a larger mechanical or electrical system, all while minimizing space, cost and energy consumption.

“Embedded vision is still in its infancy, but it has the potential to transform industries and open up new imaging capabilities that are almost infinite,” said Donal Waide, Director of Sales for BitFlow. “Through our Innovation Labs division, BitFlow is leveraging the CoaXPress 2.0 interface to develop embedded systems that are faster, more intuitive, and easier to integrate throughout the factory, which is critical to success in the IIoT era.”

As building blocks, BitFlow’s CoaXPress-NVIDIA solution coupled the BitFlow Claxon-CXP4 Quad CXP-12 frame grabber with a NVIDIA Jetson TX2 high-density AI computing platform, and demonstrated with a JAI SP-12000C-CXP4 camera for image acquisition. HDMI, DisplayPort, DSI and eDP video ports provide flexibility in display choices. Dispensing with the need for a full-sized PC altogether, images relayed from the BitFlow Claxon frame grabber are more efficiently processed on the NVIDIA CPU. At Laser World of Photonics, for example, BitFlow demonstrated how its Claxon frame grabber provided Direct Memory Access (DMA) for 12 Megapixel images transferred into GPU memory where the NVIDIA processor performed 2D to 3D transformations in real time.

BitFlow Innovation Labs aims to usher in a host of next generation embedded solutions for the factory floor and beyond, radically changing the functionality of countless devices. Targeted applications include commercial drones, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), border and port security, robotics, portable medical machinery, and many other emerging market segments. Going even further, the BitFlow Innovation Labs foresees embedded systems that facilitate image recognition and deep learning capabilities so that Smart Factory networks can be proactive in making decisions based on the environment around them.

“We founded BitFlow Innovation Labs to accelerate the adoption of embedded vision and CoaXPress 2.0,” said Waide. “By delivering new platforms based on both technologies, we are providing systems integrators with faster, smaller and more cost-effective solutions to deploy even their most mission critical imaging applications.”

BitFlow in Munich, Germany 2019

BitFlow will be exhibiting at Laser World of Photonics in Munich from June 24th through June 27th.  Come visit us in Hall B2 Booth 127-3 to see our latest products!