Recent advances in software are boosting the application of real-time vision and imaging hardware. For example, the latest standard and custom algorithms are expanding hardware performance by sharpening visualization, tightening inspection, and differentiating boards.
To derive intensive three-dimensional (3-D) craniofacial images, innovative medical visualization software has been combined with dual processors, a Windows-NT-based workstation, and a graphics accelerator. This integrated system, says contributing editor R. Winn Hardin, can process the billions of pixels contained in large computed-tomography or magnetic-resonance images and efficiently render them into 3-D voxels for diagnosis or preoperative planning (see p. 17).
The continuing shrinkage of high-density integrated-circuit chips has highlighted the inadequacy of automated optical inspection (AOI) to detect hidden solder faults. To solve this deficiency, notes Richard Amtower, president and chief executive officer of CR Technology, chip manufacturers have combined AOI and x-ray inspection hardware and software techniques and reaped the benefits of both without sacrificing operational throughput or test time (see p. 22).
Before buying color frame grabbers for the PCI bus that cost less than $1000, reports editor at large Andrew Wilson, system developers should evaluate them carefully because they provide subtle performance differences in handling image capture for various applications. In addition, software support should be checked thoroughly as to development and application tools (see p. 27).
Refer to the second annual Vision Systems Design Buyers Guide included in this issue for updated listings of vision and imaging hardware and software products and their manufacturers, as well as vendors (see p. 39).