- April 30, 2021
April 29, 2021 - Configured with a powerful processor, ample storage, and an operating system, Small Form Factor (SFF PC) computers are becoming an essential part of the Industry 4.0 landscape, but present challenges in space-constrained embedded vision applications.
To save space, SFF PCs are typically fanless making them susceptible to overheating if airflow isn’t sufficient to dissipate heat from FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processors that are often required to tackle demanding and intelligent vision tasks. The dense congestion of components within the SFF PC restricts airflow and space, which makes the use of many conventional cooling devices difficult to cool an FPGA.
To address thermal management challenges, BitFlow has engineered two new purpose-built frame grabbers featuring board-mounted micro fans to draw in cool air to replace hot air in the SFF PC. This dedicated design helps increase heat transfer from the FPGA while reducing the overall system size, and ensuring more reliable computing performance and preventing costly downtime.
Newly redesigned BitFlow Cyton CXP4-V and Claxon CXP4-V quad-channel frame grabbers were developed using the legacy architecture of their fan-less counterparts, so integrators can have complete confidence when selecting either of these field-proven designs for their vision systems. The Claxon CXP4 frame grabber is a quad CXP-12 PCIe Gen 3 frame grabber that supports one to four CXP-12 cameras and multi-link CXP-12 cameras, with CXP speeds from 3.25 to 12.5 Gb/S. Each connected camera has its own I/O and can draw up to 13 W of power. The Cyton CXP4 frame grabber is based on the CoaXPress 1.1 standard and has a Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface on its back-end for high-speed access to host memory in multi-camera systems. Both frame grabbers support simple triggering modes and complicated, application-specific triggering and control interactions within any hardware environment.
"Although a small form factor PC consumes less power and produces less heat than its larger brethren, manufacturers are increasing the power of their microprocessors, putting more units per rack, and filling up the racks as much as possible, making overheating a serious issue," said Donal Waide, director of sales for BitFlow. "With a lot of these small form factor PC's the manufacturer is choosing to go fanless where possible but the powerful FPGA generates more heat than the heat syncs can dissipate quickly. Our new Cyton and Claxon CXP frame grabbers deliver extremely fast data transfer plus offer the added value of cooling protection for our customers' computing investments."