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National InstrumentsFramegrabber NI PCIE-1429 for high speed camera

National Instruments announced the industry's first PCI Express-based image acquisition board for high-throughput vision applications. With the NI PCIe-1429 image acquisition board, engineers and scientists now can acquire images at the highest speeds, resolutions and bit depths available for Camera Link cameras to perform demanding imaging applications such as synchronized data and image acquisition, fault analysis and advanced motion tracking.

Camera Link interfaceIn the past, engineers and scientists performing high-speed imaging applications were confined to devices with banks of expensive onboard memory, which could only acquire images for short periods of time, or specialized buses such as the PCI 64/66 or PCI-X, which are not supported by standard PC chipsets. With the introduction of PCI Express technology by Intel and the NI PCIe-1429 image acquisition board, these engineers and scientists now can acquire high-speed data indefinitely through a standard PC bus.

Framegrabber NI PCIe-1429 for high speed cameraEach NI PCIe-1429 image acquisition board includes one trigger line and two Camera Link connectors to support any Base-, Medium- or Full-configuration Camera Link video camera. Additional I/O lines or advanced triggering, pulse-train outputs and isolated digital I/O also are available. With the board's four-lane PCI Express configuration, engineers and scientists can acquire at the full Camera Link bandwidth of 680 MByte/sec. In addition, they can synchronize other data acquisition measurements with each acquired image to analyze activities frame by frame in data-intensive applications such as crash tests.

The NI PCIe-1429 image acquisition board is ideal for many industrial, life science and biomedical imaging applications. For instance, engineers and scientists can use the board to perform fault analysis by setting up a stop trigger to record images before and after an event on the factory floor. Also, they can use high-speed imaging to perform particle image velocimetry or track the movement intricacies in gait analysis. In addition, scientists can use the new board to measure the stimulus response of eye corneas to light or analyze heart valve behavior under pathologic cardiovascular conditions.

PCI Express is a high-performance, point-to-point serial interconnect that improves PCI by providing scalable bus bandwidth. PCI Express features a layered model that offers backward compatibility with existing PCI applications at the operating system level.

Choosing the Right PC for the NI PCIe-1429

Problem: National Instruments has released the NI PCIe-1429, the industry's first PCI Express (PCIe) image acquisition board. PCI Express is a rapidly emerging technology for high speed I/O devices used in personal computers and workstations. Most new PCs and workstations advertise some form of PCI Express slot, however not all motherboards are configured to provide optimal performance with the NI 1429. Please take into consideration the following recommendations when selecting a PC for the NI 1429 to achieve optimal performance.

Solution: The NI 1429 device is intended for a x4 PCIe slot. It will not fit properly and should not be used in a x1 PCIe slot. The NI 1429 will fit into, and can be used in a x8 or x16 PCIe slot. With some motherboards, however, performance will be degraded in a x8 or x16 slot. Two factors affect performance in a x8 and x16 slots - the extent of the motherboard's support for up-plugging and whether the motherboard implements the full PCI Express interface in both directions.

Up-plugging
Using a smaller width device in a larger width slot is called up-plugging. When up-plugging, motherboards are permitted to limit the plug-in devices to the x1 data rate to reduce motherboard costs. If you plan to use the NI 1429 in an up-plugging configuration (in a x8 or x16 slot), with a camera that produces data faster than 200 MegaBytes/second, verify with your computer manufacturer that your motherboard will support a x4 plug-in device at a x4 data rate in the slot you intend to use. If you have already installed the NI 1429 in a computer, you can verify the data rate in Measurement and Automation Explorer (MAX). Select the device by navigating My System>>Devices and Interfaces>>NI-IMAQ Devices>>NI PCIe-1429. In the center window, the field "Negotiated PCIe Lane Width" will indicate X4 if the device has been granted the x4 data rate.

PCI ExpressFull PCI Express interface
For a fully implemented x16 PCIe interface, the motherboard provides 16 data lanes going to the device and a separate 16 data lanes coming from the plug-in device. For some PCIe slots, particularly x16 slots intended for use with graphics cards, the motherboard vendor provides 16 data lanes going to the device, but only 1 data lane coming from the device. For a graphics card, the high bandwidth video data is sent to the graphics card for display on the monitor. Very little status data is sent from the graphics card to the host. By limiting the number of data lanes coming from the device, the motherboard vendor can reduce cost. For a video acquisition device, however, the high bandwidth video data is sent from the device to the host, requiring many data lanes traveling in the opposite direction relative to a graphics card. If you plan to use the NI 1429 in a x16 slot, with a camera that produces data faster than 200 MegaBytes/second, verify with your computer manufacturer that your motherboard provides all data lanes in both directions for the slot you intend to use.

Motherboard with slots PCIe x16, PCI, PCIe x8 and PCI-X (from the bottom)

pci express slots in motherboard

PCI Express slots: x1, x4, x8 and x16

PCI Express slots

 
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