March 29th, 2011

Adimec touts image quality in CMOS cameras


Adimec also debuted what it calls the industry's first production-ready cameras using the new CoaXPress standard.


Rick Nelson, Chief Editor -- Test & Measurement World, 3/25/2011 10:08:01 AM


Chicago, Il -

Adimec chose Automate 2011 to showcase its latest cameras, including the Quartz Q-4A180 4-megapixel global-shutter CMOS-based camera. The company said it will also be launching new CMOS Quartz Q series models, which provide true scene capturing at high speeds and resolutions and target inline inspection and metrology applications, and Qs series models, which can serve in cost-sensitive Camera Link Base environments, in the second quarter.

The company also debuted what it calls the industry's first production-ready cameras using the new CoaXPress standard, the OPAL series, available in 1- to 8-megapixel versions.

Speaking at an Automate press conference, David Northup, Adimec's US-based business director, said the company's goal it to partner with customers to optimize for image quality in machine-vision, electronic-manufacturing, semiconductor-inspection, metrology, solar-inspection, and other applications. Marcel Dijkema, Adimec's strategic product manager based in the company's Eindhoven, The Netherlands, headquarters, said the company strives to employ CMOS technology to minimize total cost of ownership. He said that about two years ago, CCDs offered the best image quality while CMOS sensors offered the best speed. The quality gap is changing, though, he said, and CCD advantages with respect to parameters like dynamic range are disappearing.

Adimec has taken several steps to enhance CMOS image quality, Dijkema said, including incorporating flat-field correction to improve uniformity. In addition, the company lets users improve shot-noice performance by up to 12 dB through binning (which improves shot-noise performance while reducing resolution) and averaging (which improves shot-noise performance while reducing throughput).

Dijkema said the company will launch a CoaXPress Dual version of the Quartz Q family next quarter as well as new Camera Link Base Qs models in mono, color, and NIR formats next quarter.

The already available Quartz Q-4A180 cameras combine global shutter CMOS technology with the proprietary Adimec True Accurate Imaging approach to provide speed, accuracy, and consistency comparable to CCD-based cameras, according to Dijkema. The Quartz series combines high-frame-rate sensor technology with high-data-rate connectivity to deliver up to 180 FPS (frames per second) performance, 2048 x 2048 resolution, and, according to Dijkema, a large FOV (field of view) with excellent uniformity and low-noise performance.

The new NIR-capable Quartz camera uses leading-edge CMOS image sensor from CMOSIS. Compared to the standard Q-4A180, the NIR-enhanced version increases the sensitivity above 650-nm wavelengths. NIR, said Dijkema, is an important element in the move from 2-D to 3-D inspection technology and has applications in other visibility-constrained product areas such as outdoor imaging.

Adimec said its Opal series of cameras deliver unparalleled channel matching, linearity, and dynamic range at resolutions between 1 and 8 megapixels at more than 120 FPS. The company said Opal is the first production camera support the CoaXPress standard version 1.0, which allows it to deliver transmission performance up to 3x faster in a single coaxial cable that combines power, general-purpose I/O, commands, and image data and can extend up to 140 meters. The new CoaXPress support adds to existing support of Camera Link and GigE Vision interface options, the company said.



back to overview