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Imaging » Knowledge Center » Application Notes and Technology Primers » HSLink Overview

HSLink Overview

The HSLink interface is a new machine vision connectivity interface pioneered by Teledyne DALSA with the support of a number of other industry vendors. As a group we are working with the Camera Link 2 subcommittee to bring reference designs and a more complete specification to the table for industry use as the next generation Machine Vision interface.

HSLink is designed specifically to meet the needs of all machine vision applications and therefore carries image data, configuration data and low jitter, real time triggering signals over a simple network topology supporting cameras, intermediate devices and frame grabbers. The interface has taken the key strengths of Camera Link, and added new features and functions to meet the customer demands of today and tomorrow. HSLink is designed from a system point of view, ensuring the ability to create low cost cameras and frame grabbers, while meeting the ease of use, flexibility and data reliability demanded by end customers.
 

HSLink Features and Benefits

  • Globally available, off-the-shelf components are used. No license or royalty fees. No chip supply issues.
  • Scaleable bandwidth of 300 to 6000 Mbytes/s, 1x to 20x configurations, while maintaining a common and consistent control interface and ease of implementation.
  • Camera size is minimized.
    • Interface technology can be integrated into FPGAs rather than use a separate IC chip.
    • Power over HSLink is possible.
    • Protocol handles real-time triggering. No need for a separate trigger cable.
  • Real-time triggering - low jitter of 3.2ns makes HSLink viable for linescan applications.
  • Maintains the features of Camera Link, an industry specific connectivity solution, while using broadly used off the shelf components having development road maps for increased performance. This protocol will have a long service life.
  • Lower cost data transmission across all bandwidths
  • Reliable data transmission achieved through proven technology and the supported hardware resend capability. Hardware resend enables minimal buffer sizes suitable for inclusion in FPGAs, ie no external memory required.
  • Plug and Play - Cameras are GenICam
  • General Purpose I/O are optional and supported on the camera
  • Guaranteed data reliability with data resend and redundant trigger codes.
  • Power optimized as the number of lanes needed for data transmission scales as necessary. Friendly to the environment.
  • Data Forwarding - Low cost distributed image processing.
  • Open development with feedback solicited and incorporated into improving the interface.
  • Reference designs available to reduce implementation times.
  • Designed to ensure longevity in the marketplace. Expected lifecycle is 10-20 years.
  • Commitment from a major camera and frame grabber developer.
  • HSLink Protocol exceeds 95% video efficiency
    HSLink protocol efficiency

Functional Block Diagrams

HSLink block diagram

The HSLink IP Core takes in Camera Link signals and priority manages trigger, image data and configuration data and sends this information to the PHY via GMII (Gigabit Media Independent Interface) and/or NBI (Nine Bit Interface) in order to ensure guaranteed data delivery and it further simplifies design implementation in both framegrabbers and cameras. Multi-vendor PHYs, that operate on NBI and GMII, are available that serialize and de-serialize the data transmitted over the cable medium. For low bandwidth applications (<300Mbytes/s), Infiniband (IBx1) or Coax cabling offers a low cost solution. For applications up to 2100Mbytes/s, a single CX4 cable is used, which significantly reduces the size and number of cables required with today’s machine vision standards, and still delivers 15m transmission distances.

HSLink IP Core

HSLink Video Overview

More Information

Industry Support

HSLink forms the basis for the Automated Imaging Association's new Camera Link HS standard. The standard, to be officially released in 2011, has widespread industry support from camera, frame grabber, and cable manufacturers.

Teledyne DALSA HSLink Products

Technical Contact

Mike Miethig
R&D Camera Development Manager
Teledyne DALSA Digital Imaging
605 McMurray Road
Waterloo, ON
Canada N2V 2E9

Tel: +1 519-886-6001 ext: 2130
mike.miethig@teledynedalsa.com

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