To increase performance, camera vendors are embedding image-processing and machine-vision algorithms within their cameras.
Because of their low-cost, added functionality, and increasingly easier programming, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have become a mainstay of today's CCD cameras. By incorporating functions such as Bayer interpolation, flat-field correction, and bad-pixel correction within these devices, the host computer can be offloaded from such compute-intensive tasks, increasing the speed of machine-vision systems. Today, many CCD cameras use FPGAs to allow these functions to be performed in a pipelined fashion in real time as images are captured. Better yet, some camera vendors are teaming with high-level imaging-software companies to allow more sophisticated image-analysis functions to be performed within these cameras.