Which version of the SDK do I need?

There are two versions of the Windows SDK: free and paid. The free version is all that is need to use BitFlow’s frame grabbers with a 3rd party Machine Vision application such as LabVIEW, VisionPro and HALCON. The paid version is needed for users developing their own applications that will acquire from BitFlow frame grabbers. The paid version provides header files, libraries and copious quantities of example programs with source code. All of the APIs in each support language are fully documented.

The BitFlow SDK supports Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10/11 in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. APIs are available for C/C++/C# (.NET).

There is also a BitFlow SDK for Linux, 32-bit and 64 bit. Most current major distros kernel versions are supported. Both Intel and ARM processors are supported.

What is the difference, if any, between the Windows and the Linux SDK?

The Linux SDK is similar to the WIndows SDK. It’s important to note that the API is not the same between Windows and Linux, but they are similar. The Linux SDK contains a kernel driver, libraries, examples and utilities. Some of the high level utilities (CamML, Ximilon, BitFlow Preview) are the same between Windows and Linux. The Linux API is documented on line here .

I need a camera file for my CoaXPress camera. What information do you need from me?

While we have created thousands upon thousands of cameras files, there are new cameras emerging every month and it’s not always possible to keep fully up to date with a specific mode for each and every one. Your best approach here is to send an email to support@bitflow.com and provide them with the following information.

  1. Area scan / Line scan?
  2. Image width and Image height
  3. Bit-depth
  4. CXP Link speed
  5. Number of CXP links

I want to work with OpenCV. What do I need to know?

We do support OpenCV, however it is not through the use of a OpenCV specific driver. Because our frame grabbers can acquire directly into user allocated memory, we can work directly with OpenCV by simply using the BitFlow API to program the board to DMA images directly into OpenCV image buffers. You can then process them normally using OpenCV functions.

Using BFCom, what baud rates are supported by the Neon

The Neon supports up to 256 kb . You can modify the baud rate in BFCom via the File > Com properties menu command.

The command to make the same change in the camera depends on the camera protocol. It’s different for every make of camera. You need to change the camera, then change BFCom to match.

What is Overstep?

OVS (OVerStep) is a phenomenon where the DMA engine cannot keep up with the data stream from the camera. The most common reasons for this are:

  • The BW of the camera video stream is higher than the BW of the PCI interface
  • The MB bridge(s) will not give enough access to the PCI for frame grabber DMA engine

Obviously, high activity on the MB will generate OVS. We always suggest to customer to stop activity while acquiring data from the camera. Access to disc or high intensity graphics are the usual suspects.

How can I rollback to an earlier version of the SDK

Windows caches drivers and by default always uses the one with the newest version number regardless of what is most recently installed. The good news is that you can roll the system back to any driver version you want. The procedure is below:


To roll back to an older driver

The solution is simple, you just need to manually tell Windows to use the older driver. Here are the instructions:

1. Open the Device Manger
2. Search the list for “Imaging devices”, then “BitFlow XXXXX”
3. Right click on the relevant BitFlow board e.g. Axion and select “Update Driver Software”
4. Select “Browse my computer for driver software”
5. Select “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”
6. In the next dialog, look in the list for “BitFlow Frame Grabber Version X.XXX”, select this item and hit Next
7. The older driver will be installed
8. You must then reboot your computer

When your computer reboots, run our utility VerCheck and make sure the DLLs and the Driver are all the exact same version.

I have an installation issue with my Windows 7 system and the latest SDK

Starting with SDK 6.11 we are signing our kernel driver with a SHA-2 certificate. Microsoft is phasing out SHA-1 certificates. Unfortunately Windows 7 as it was originally released did not support SHA-2 certs. There is a patch which was released some time ago and you should have it on your system if you have automatic updates turned on. However, we understand why a machine vision system might have automatic updates turned off. The simple solution is to install just the following Microsoft patch, this will fix support for SHA-2 certs.


After you install this patch, reboot your system and the driver should work.

We are sorry about the inconvenience this has caused, but Microsoft is really forcing our hand here.

This problem does not exist on Windows 8 and 10.