PCIe-1473 FGPA Frame Grabber with non-Standard Camera Link Protocol

Updated Jun 14, 2019

Reported In

Hardware

  • PCIe-1473

Software

  • LabVIEW FPGA Module

Driver

  • NI-IMAQ

Other

  • Camera that implements a custom/non-standard Camera Link protocol

Issue Details

I am working with a camera that connects with Camera Link on a physical level, but the amount of data sent over and the way the data is sent is different than standard Camera Link. Can I use the PCIe-1473 (PCIe-1473R) FPGA frame grabber card to read in the raw image information from the camera?

Solution

The PCIe-1473 FPGA frame grabber provides direct access to the raw information from the camera, including the Camera Link Camera Control LinesCamera Link Configuration, and Camera Link Data (Data Valid, Frame Valid, Line Valid, Output Valid, Port A, Port B, ... Port I, Port J).



If you are using an altered or customized Camera Link protocol, you will unlikely be able to use the NI Vision functions for images since the image from your camera would not conform to the standard Camera Link protocol. You would need to manually convert your images to the standard Camera Link image before you can use the NI Vision functions.

Additionally, you also need to make sure that your camera's LVAL signals on each chip is assigned to the configurations of the Camera Link Standard, as there is a non-user-configurable check on those pins (LVAL signal should be assigned to pin Tx/Rx24 for each chip or Tx/Rx24 for Chip X and Tx/Rx27 for Chip Y and Z).

Additional Information

The specific port and bits associated with the standard Camera Link protocol are shown below. This assumes that CL Set Signal Mapping is set to Standard (0), CL Set Configuration is set to Base (0), and all the active-high polarity controls are set to True

Standard Camera Link TxIN0 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 0 
Standard Camera Link TxIN1 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 1 
Standard Camera Link TxIN2 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 2 
Standard Camera Link TxIN3 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 3 
Standard Camera Link TxIN4 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 4 
Standard Camera Link TxIN5 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 7 
Standard Camera Link TxIN6 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 5 
Standard Camera Link TxIN7 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 0 
Standard Camera Link TxIN8 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 1 
Standard Camera Link TxIN9 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 2 
Standard Camera Link TxIN10 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 6 
Standard Camera Link TxIN11 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 7 
Standard Camera Link TxIN12 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 3 
Standard Camera Link TxIN13 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 4 
Standard Camera Link TxIN14 = NI PCIe-1473 Port B Bit 5 
Standard Camera Link TxIN15 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 0 
Standard Camera Link TxIN16 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 6 
Standard Camera Link TxIN17 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 7 
Standard Camera Link TxIN18 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 1 
Standard Camera Link TxIN19 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 2 
Standard Camera Link TxIN20 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 3 
Standard Camera Link TxIN21 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 4 
Standard Camera Link TxIN22 = NI PCIe-1473 Port C Bit 5 
Standard Camera Link TxIN23 = NI PCIe-1473 Spare 
Standard Camera Link TxIN24 = NI PCIe-1473 LVAL 
Standard Camera Link TxIN25 = NI PCIe-1473 FVAL 
Standard Camera Link TxIN26 = NI PCIe-1473 DVAL 
Standard Camera Link TxIN27 = NI PCIe-1473 Port A Bit 6 

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