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27 May 2014

Xenics releases smallest SWIR low-noise CL/GigE camera to full-qualification production

Xenics nv of Leuven, Belgium - a manufacturer of infrared detectors, cameras and customized IR imaging solutions covering the spectrum from long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) to the visible (0.4-14μm) - has released its Bobcat-640 to full-qualification production.

Bobcat-640 is claimed to be the smallest short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) camera with on-board image processing features, making it suitable for industrial machine-vision applications such as waste sorting, food inspection, failure analysis, semiconductor inspection, process control, hyperspectral imaging, laser-beam profiling and high-temperature thermography. With built-in CameraLink (CL) or GigE Vision interfaces, Bobcat-640 delivers value in terms of return on investment (ROI) and short time to market due to easy system integration, it is claimed.

Reaching out to machine-vision system integrators

“The machine vision and automation industry is constantly broadening its portfolio with advanced imaging products for new demanding applications”, says founder & CEO Bob Grietens. “Part of this will result in an increased demand for infrared imaging systems,” he adds. “With its small form factor and improved performance, the Bobcat-640 is perfectly adapted to meet these challenging requirements of next-generation machine vision systems,” he claims.

With a compact form factor of 55mm x 55mm x 72 mm for CameraLink and 55mm x 55mm x 82mm for GigE Vision, Bobcat-640 is claimed to be the smallest industrial SWIR CL/GigE imaging solution available for industrial vision. It also offers low noise and low darkcurrent performance at extended operating case temperature ranges of -40°C to 70°C.

Modularity takes center stage

A key factor is modularity across a broad variety of specifications and functionalities from which systems designers can choose according to their applications, reckons Xenics. The firm offers system integrators worldwide an open architecture with control and command of multiple interfaces via CameraLink and GigE Vision. Power over Ethernet is also possible for standalone operation. Analog video and later CoaXPress are available on request. In terms of resolution, Bobcat-640 drives the pixel pitch down to 20μm from conventional levels of 25μm, at a high overall resolution of 640x512 pixels. This efficient optical lay-out makes the new camera compatible with a broad range of exchangeable standard C-mount lenses as well as the full range of other lower-cost lenses.

Faster time-to-market

Versatile on-board image processing is one of the design features of the Bobcat-640, enabling it to operate as a complete IR camera system. It is user-configurable with single (GigE Vision) to multiple (CameraLink) non-uniformity correction (NUC), auto gain and offset as well as trigger in/out. “In the past, users had to perform a lot of image processing in their self-developed software,” says Grietens. “We have moved this control functionality from the application back to the camera.”

Bobcat-640-CL is compliant with National Instruments and Euresys framegrabbers. Bobcat-640-GigE supports Cognex VisionPro, MVTec HALCON and Stemmer Common Vision Blox imaging software and is GeniCam compatible.

High sensitivity in SWIR range for specialized quality inspection and high-temperature process control

The Bobcat-640 spectral response covers the realm 0.9-1.7μm, with a VisNIR option extending the wavelength realm to the visible (0.4μm). As a result, Bobcat-640 increases measurement sensitivity by capturing more light and lowering integration times under difficult lighting conditions. With its special on-board readout circuitry (ROIC with CTIA topology) the camera delivers uniform and crisp images.

The TE-1 temperature stabilization enables the Bobcat-640-GigE to achieve noise levels of less than 90e- (60e- ROIC noise). AD conversion at a high 14 bits delivers high-quality data processing. The Bobcat-640-GigE reaches high frame rates of 100Hz in full resolution of 640x512. In windowing mode the frame rate can  be further increased.

Tags: Xenics InGaAs detector

Visit: www.xenics.com

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