NBASE-T builds on GigE vision standard
The development of the GigE Vision standard in 2006 has had a major influence on the industrial vision industry. This standard is based on Gigabit Ethernet technology and allows data transmission at rates up to 125 Mb/s over distances up to 100 metres, using standard Ethernet cables and components that were already being used in many factory environments.
However as higher resolution image sensors have become available, more and more image data is being generated. This, in combination with higher speed processes has led to the need for higher speed data interfaces. The vision industry has reacted to this with the development of further vision standards, notably CameraLink HS, CoaXPress and most recently, USB3 Vision.
These all have their merit, and with such a wide choice, the requirements of the vision application itself should determine the data transmission standard utilised. The following factors should be considered:
Nevertheless, GigE Vision continues to dominate the market with a number of surveys estimating that in 2015 GigE Vision accounted for over 50% of the machine vision systems used.
The popularity of the GigE Vision standard is undoubtedly related to the distances over which data can be transmitted using industry standard components, so it is not surprising that increasing the data transmission rate within this framework has been a goal.
The networking stack used is divided into a number of different layers with different protocols and the ‘Ethernet’ layer is unaware of the protocols and connections of the layers either above or below it which means the technology is future proofed.
10Gigabit Ethernet is available across fibre optic and copper connections offering a theoretical data transmission rate of 1 Gb/s, although the original high cost and power consumption of 10GigE chipsets has limited the availability of 10GigE Vision cameras.
The newest release to use Ethernet technology is NBASE-T. NBASE-T is an extension to the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard and increases data transmission using industry standard CAT 5e cable to speeds of 2.5 and 5 Gbp/s and to 10 Gb/s using CAT 6A cable whilst maintaining data transmission distances up to 100 metres.
Fully compatible with GigE Vision, NBASE-T is already beginning to be incorporated into camera technology, allowing users to get the benefit of significantly increased data throughput without the expense and difficulty of replacing existing Ethernet cabling.
This topic can be explored in more depth at the UKIVA Machine Vision Conference to be held at the Arena MK, 27 April 2017. Visitors can find out much more about this and all the popular vision transmission standards.
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