Fraunhofer study shows FireWire advantages over GigE Vision for machine-vision applications

FEBRUARY 27, 2008--A comprehensive comparison of the performance of the IEEE 1394 standard and GigE Vision in machine-vision applications concludes that 1394 provides easier integration and optimization.

FEBRUARY 27, 2008--A comprehensive comparison of the performance of the IEEE 1394 standard and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE Vision) in machine-vision applications concludes that 1394 provides easier integration and optimization, and superior interoperability between systems from different vendors. Completed late last year by the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) in Dresden, Germany, the report was developed for Sony Corporation's Image Sensing Solutions Division. It is designed to objectively compare the specifications and performance of GigE Vision with IEEE 1394, the most popular and commonly used machine vision interconnect standard.

The Fraunhofer IPMS research concluded that 1394b is superior for machine-vision implementations, even though GigE Vision--when supported by the GeniCam specification--provides higher raw data rates and maximum cable lengths than 1394b. In addition, GigE Vision lacks 1394's quality-of-service guarantees, so it is less efficient in moving real-time data. GigE Vision also requires significant CPU loading, which encumbers the host processors in a system, and it requires designers to be actively involved in low-level configuration tasks, such as setting packet sizes. In contrast, 1394 lets integrators work with applications programming interfaces, APIs, at high levels.

The report states that GigE Vision holds theoretical promise for future applications, but that 1394 is more reliable, easier to integrate, and provides superior interoperability. In addition, since the completion of the report, IEEE-1394b now supports long distance connections eliminating the only significant advantage for GigE Vision reported in the study.

Report results also apply in automotive, networking applications
The 1394 Trade Association views the Fraunhofer IPMS report as confirmation of 1394's superiority in the industrial instrumentation market, as well as in other market sectors such as automotive and home networking, according to James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association. "The 1394 standard is widely available and a popular choice throughout a broad range of industrial instrumentation applications, including machine vision," Snider said. "This report defines and explains in detail the benefits of 1394 in these applications. It also identifies important differentiating features for 1394, such as ease-of-use and quality of service, that are critical for emerging automotive and home networking applications and products."

The complete report, including summary and methodology, is now available at www.sonybiz.net/biz/view/ShowContent.action?site=biz_en_EU&content Id=1196773884857

Now in its 14th year, the 1394 Trade Association is a worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement and enhancement of the IEEE 1394 (FireWire) standard. For more information visit www.1394ta.org.

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