Bitflow’s New USB Aon-CXP CoaXPress Frame Grabber VS. USB 3.1

Bitflow has been the pinnacle of developing high-performance and reliable Frame Grabbers, which can be used for imaging applications since 1993. It is the leader in Camera Link frame grabbers having built the fastest frame grabbers in the world. With reasonably priced products, Bitflow provides the highest camera/frame grabber densities and triggering performance. Bitflow’s dedication to providing its customers with the best image acquisition and application development solutions is unmatched – it has thousands of boards installed globally into hundreds of imaging applications. Their experience and knowledge gives them an edge over all their competition. Bitflow is located in Woburn, MA, and has distributors and resellers across the world including Asia, the Americas and Europe.

This manufacturer of machine vision equipment, which is used in robotics, automated systems and quality control has recently unveiled its Aon-CXP CoaXPress single-link frame grabber. It has been gaining a growing number of supporters from former USB 3.1 users. The Aon-CXP packs within itself the power of larger, multi-link CXP frame grabbers despite being much cheaper than the latter. It can deliver up to a staggering 6.25 Gb/s worth of data over the link. That is almost twice as much as the real world data rate of the standard USB 3.1.

The USB 3.1 is widely regarded as a very simple and cost-effective plug-and-play interface for lower bandwidth applications. The new generation CoaXPress single-link cameras that are combined with the Aon-CXP are now challenging the long standing dominance that the USB 3.1 has held. System integrators will find that they can acquire 2-megapixel imagery at a rate up to 300 frames per second within the same price range as the USB 3.1. Added bonuses are that the new generation CoaXPress single-link cameras are less of a hassle to work with and offer far longer cable lengths.

The CXP vision system can be easily developed with just a simple desktop PC which features a PCI interface, the Aon-CXP frame grabber, a standard coaxial cable up to a length of 40 meters and a single-link CXP camera. The configuration software is included with the Aon-CXP which will locate the camera itself and start acquiring the images.


The cost of the CXP frame grabber itself becomes the standard argument for nay-sayers because the USB 3.1 does not require that component but the fact of the matter is, once you realize that the maximum speed at which the USB 3.1 operates is 382 MB/s. That’s just over half the speed provided by the single-link CXP solution which runs at approximately 600MB/s. A company can take advantage of the faster speed over its competition because the CXP single-link solution provides it at essentially the same price. In several industrial applications, anything above the 400MB/s mark, the USB 3.1 cannot handle it and the CXP wins with its proverbial hands tied behind its back.



The increased latency and image jittering doesn’t really help the USB 3.1 either. Since it does not have the Aon-CXP frame grabber to conduct processing functions, the USB 3.1 depends on the PC for power which draws away the CPU cycles away from the image processing functions of the PC. That makes the image processing slower and less accurate. At 400 MB/s, the USB 3.1’s highest data transfer rate is barely enough to match the base data transfer rate of the CXP so full support for some of the current and probably all next generation sensors is very unlikely.

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