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CPU board packs power; Video lens improves accuracy; Fiberoptic lighting shines cool; Camera reads characters; and more.

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CPU board packs power The Atlas-V multiprocessor VMEbus board provides two 450-MHz Intel Coppermine-256 Pentium III processors that work in parallel at scalable speeds to 733 MHz on the same program transparent to the programmer and the application. Each processor comes with 256 kbytes of L2 cache, shares up to 768 Mbytes synchronous DRAM memory, and links to a 100-MHz local bus that is an extension of Intel's Front Side Bus. Network options include dual 10/100-Mbit/s Ethernet interfaces, a 40-Mbyte/s SCSI interface, a 64-bit AGP graphics engine with 4 Mbytes of video RAM, two Ultra-DMA 33 IDE interfaces, two USB ports, dual serial I/O, and RS-422 drivers and parallel port. Software support covers Windows NT, Solaris x86, QNX, and VxWorks. Price is $2299. General Micro Systems Inc.,8358 Maple Place, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730; (909) 980-4863; Fax: (909) 987-4863.

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Video lens improves accuracy The J54-798 telecentric video lens provides a constant magnification of 0.5X with a telecentricity of 0.3°. Working distance is 125-150 mm, ensuring images are dimensionally accurate over a 25-mm range of focal points. Depth of field is ±3 mm at f/12. The lens suits 1/2-1/3-in. CCD sensors and comes in a C-mount configuration. Edmund Industrial Optics,101 E. Gloucester Pike, Barrington, NJ 08007; (856) 573-6250; Fax: (856) 573-6295.

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Fiberoptic lighting shines cool A line of low-profile and industrial-grade machine-vision fiberoptic line arrays produces uniform lines of cool illumination using high-output 0.66 NA fiber. The arrays come in a NEMA 12-rated extruded housing and provide standard apertures of 38.1 mm (1.5 in.) to 304 mm (12 in.). An open or sealed focusing lens is provided. Line arrays are available in lengths to 2794 mm (110 in.). Stocker & Yale Inc.,32 Hampshire Rd., Salem, NH 03079; (603) 893-8778; Fax: (603) 893-5604.

Camera reads characters The 100 x 50 x 36-mm, 250-g, progressive-scan VC38 camera provides a Sony 1/3-in. CCD sensor, 640 x 480-pixel resolution, 8 Mbytes of SDRAM, 2 Mbytes of Flash EPROM, and an on-board DSP. Optically isolated industrial input/output signals include four 12-24-V inputs and four 150-mA outputs. Other features include an RS-232 serial port, pixel-identical sensor readout, a video output for VGA monitor display, and 1/10,000- to 20-s shuttering speeds. Software support includes VC-series pattern matching and optical-character-recognition libraries, image-processing routines, and a PC-based cross-development environment. Price is $1749. Vision Components,478 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139; (617) 492-1252; Fax: (617) 492-1252.

Chip processes color The PB-R006 TrueColor Processor converts the output of the company's CIF-size, 352 x 288-pixel, PB-0100 and VGA-format, 640 x 480-pixel, PB-0300 CMOS image sensors into 24-bit RGB or 16-bit YUV (CCIR 601) video formats. Processing rate is 60 frames/s for CIF and 30 frames/s for VGA. Processed functions include Bayer RGB color interpolation, programmable color and gamma correction, and a range of aperture correction. An on-chip measurement engine provides white balance adjustments. Photobit Corp.,135 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101; (626) 683-2200; Fax: (626) 683-2220.

Video generators are PC-based Offering a 300-MHz pixel frequency, the VG-530pc video generator offers resolution to 1 pixel, DDC2B read and write capability, and a Win 95/NT interface. It also offers the ability to import bitmapped files. Other PC-based units with lower dot clocks are also available. Team Systems,2934 Corvin Dr., Santa Clara, CA 95051; (408) 720-8877; Fax: (408) 720-9643.

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DSP board does GFLOPS The Modena-VME board packs 12 ADSP-21160 Sharc DSP processors to obtain 7.2 GFLOPS of processing density and 7.2 Gbytes of interprocessor communications in a single 6U VME slot. All interprocessor communications takes place via 10 Sharc Link Ports. An on-board 64-bit PCI bus and two PCI interfaces can transfer up to 264 Mbyte/s data from two PMC sites, two PLX 9600 64-bit master/slave PCI interfaces, and a Universe II VME64-to-PCI64 bus bridge. A bank of 4-Mbit SRAMs is dual ported with 14 DMA engines that support six 100-Mbyte/s link ports and a 400-Mbyte/s external port. Software support covers the APEX tool family, Visual DSP development tools, and Windows NT, VxWorks, Solaris, and LynxOS device drivers. Price is $15,995. Spectrum Signal Processing,One Spectrum Court, #200-2700 Production Way, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 4X1; (604) 421-5422; Fax: (604) 421-1764.

Vision system operates in nanoseconds The DiCam Pro intensified CCD imaging system is capable of exposure times to 1.5 ns. With a 12-bit dynamic range and a 640 x 480-pixel, 1/2-in. or a 1280 x 1024-pixel, 2/3-in. CCD sensor, the system offers single photon detection and a dynamic range greater than 5 compared to rms noise. A high-speed serial data stream is transferred via a 10-1500-m fiberoptic cable connecting the system camera to a PCI interface board at a 132-Mbyte/s burst rate. A two-stage Peltier cooler with forced-air cooling is regulated at -15°C at VGA and -12°C at SVGA. A SDK is available for Windows 3.11/95/NT and Macintosh. The Cooke Corp.,1091 Centre Rd., Suite 100, Auburn Hills, MI 48326; (248) 276-8820; Fax: (248) 276-8825.

FireWire communication adapters run at 400 Mbyte/s IEEE-1394 FireWire communication adapters for PCI, CompactPCI, PMC, and VMEBus architectures provide 400-Mbyte/s capability for 1394 digital communication in applications such as electronic real-time simulation, analog and digital data acquisition, data transfer, and digital video data capture. In addition, the company has expanded its family of SedNet APIs with added support for VenturCom, a real-time extension to Windows NT, and introduced low-level functionality to its current RTOS support including VxWorks, Windows NT, QNX, and Solaris. This functionality allows developers to write communication code with high bandwidth, low latency, and direct access and full control of hardware. Sederta,5065 Levy, St-Laurent, Quebec, Canada H4R 2N9; (514) 338-8749; Fax: (514) 338-1915.

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Frame grabber captures fast objects Supplied as a half-slot PCI-bus board, the PCVision frame grabber provides four 8-bit analog video inputs that can digitize monochrome images from variable scan cameras, as well as RS-170, CCIR, and progressive scan video cameras with resolutions to 1K x 1K. It can accept composite video or be driven by external timing and it supports E-DONPISHA II mode (external trigger shutter) cameras. Other features include programmable timing and trigger, strobe, and asynchronous reset options. On-board pixel packing can send data in 4:2:2 format for enabling non-destructive graphic overlays. Software support includes the ITEX SDK C/C++ library, Sherlock 32, and MVTools. Pricing starts at $800. Imaging Technology Inc.,55 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford, MA 01730; (781) 275-2700; Fax: (781) 275-9590.

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D/A modules handle high channel density To help VME and PC system developers interface more D/A converters from a single board, the IP236 analog output module for IndustryPack carrier cards provides up to eight analog output channels on a single IndustryPack (IP) mezzanine module. Equipped with individual 16-bit DACs on each output channel, the IP236 delivers throughput rates to 100 kHz. Each channel also has a 128-byte FIFO buffer and clock. Prices start at $800 for a four-channel model and $1200 for the eight-channel version. Extended temperature models are also available for operation from -40°C to 85°C. Acromag, POB 437, Wixom, MI 48393-7037; (248) 624-1541; Fax: (248) 624-9234.

Software adds ray-tracing capability TracePro 2.0 ray traces ten times faster than the previous version of the company's software. Other enhancements include a wizard to convert raw BSDF data into TracePro format, more than 3000 catalog lenses, a bulb catalog, STL import capability, expanded material catalogs, and a optional healing husk to fix imperfect geometry. TracePro 2.0 is a full 3-D solid modeling product based on the ACIS 5.1 engine and a graphical interface for illumination design and analysis. The product includes translation compatibility with 170 ACIS programs such asAutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop and CAD products that transfer systems using IGES and STEP formats. Lambda Research,80 Taylor St., Littleton, MA 01460-4400; (978) 486-0766; Fax: (978) 486-0755.

CompactPCI CPU boards are rugged A range of CompactPCI boards, power supplies, and systems designed for harsh industrial environments are ruggedized. The CPU board is a screened version of its ICP-K62 SBC. Features include a 32-bit Pentium-compatible CPU, up to 128 Mbytes SDRAM, 144-Mbyte flash memory, and a graphics controller with up to 4 Mbytes SGRAM. Also included is a 512-kbyte pipelined burst static memory Level 2 cache, a FireWire interface, Fast Ethernet, RS-232 and field-bus interfaces for Profibus, LON, DeviceNet, CAN and Interbus-S. Inova Computers,5 Main Street, Cotuit, MA 02635; (508) 428-1198; Fax: (508) 428-7347.

PCI cards sport Celeron processor As a Celeron-based SBC offered in three-quarter/AT PCI PICMG card form factor, LBC is based on Intel's 66-MHz Celeron processor with 440BX chipset. Two standard 168-pin DIMM sockets support of up to 512 MBytes of memory. In addition to the 16 kbytes of primary cache, a 128-kbyte secondary (L2) cache is integrated into the processor module. Standard ISA bus peripherals such as the PS/2 keyboard/mouse controller, real-time clock, floppy controller, and RS-232 serial ports are also integrated onto the board. Diversified Technology,476 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ridgeland, MS 39158; (800) 443-2667.

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Convergent beam fiberoptics do background suppression Consisting of bifurcated plastic fibers that pipe light to the sensing target, the P22-C1 and P12-C1 convergent beam fibers from Banner Engineering feature a sensing head assembly that positions the emitted light 3 mm in front of the assembly. This allows the units to detect objects as small as 0.2 mm. The P22-C1 and P12-C1 fibers are unaffected by varying target color or reflectivity. They eliminate sensing problems caused by targets with varying surface finishes or colors that reflect inconsistent levels of light. Banner Engineering,POB 9414, Minneapolis, MN 55441; (612) 544-3164; Fax: (612) 544-3213.

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Board links IEEE-1394 to PCI The Matrox Meteor-II/1394 adapter board connects IEEE-1394-based cameras supports bidirectional communications for device control, asynchronous and isochronous device data transfers, interfacing, and cabling to a host PC. It provides three 6-pin, 400-Mbit/s, IEEE-1394 ports, on-board FIFOs for video capture to PCI, and power from the PC. Camera support covers Sony DFW-V300, DFW-V500, XCD-SX900, and XCD-X700 cameras. Software support includes Matrox Imaging Library, MIL-Lite, and Matrox Inspector, as well as Microsoft 98/NT/2000. The board eliminates the need for a special frame grabber. Price is $195. Matrox Imaging,1055 St Regis Blvd., Dorval, Quebec, Canada H9P 2T4; (514) 685-2630; Fax: (514) 822-6273.

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CCD camera checks security Offering 380 lines of horizontal resolution with a sensitivity of 0.08 lux at f/1.4, the Panasonic WV-BP50 incorporates a 1/3-in. CCD and an electronic light control that allows operation with fixed iris lenses and automatic light control for use with automatic iris lenses. Additional features include built-in backlight compensation and single coaxial cable for power, video, and sync. Panasonic Security and Digital Imaging,One Panasonic Way, Secaucus, NJ 07094; (201) 348-7960; Fax: (201) 348-7372.

Software eases matrix-code reading The eVision Tools Version 5.1 offers an EasyMatrix code tool that can read 2-D data matrix codes. It can handles code location in the image including rotation and scaling and matrix decoding. The software also features improved filtering, calibration, and Borland C++ Builder compatibility. Euresys,Avenue du Pré-Aily, 14, B-4031 Angleur, Belgium; 32 4 367 72 88; Fax: 32 4 367 74 66.

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