Connecting GigE Cameras to PXI Systems: Possible Configurations

Updated May 3, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • Ethernet Switch
  • PXI Ethernet Interface Module
  • Basler ace
  • Basler pilot
  • Basler aviator
  • Basler scout

Driver

  • NI-IMAQdx

Issue Details

  • I am scoping out a PXI system that will also need to do vision processing.  I am have some GigE Vision cameras.  What hardware will I need to connect my GigE Vision cameras to my PXI chassis?
  • What frame grabbers do I need to read images from my GigE Vision cameras onto my PXI controller?

Solution

There are a number of ways to connect GigE Vision cameras to a PXI system.  There are hardware and performance trade-offs between the different configurations.
 

GigE Camera(s) on Network with PXI Controller and Other Devices

Pro

  • Connecting your GigE camera(s) onto an existing network where the PXI controller and other devices are already connected to is the most flexible configuration.

Concerns

  • All network switches and routers between the GigE camera and the PXI system have to support jumbo frames in order for NI-IMAQdx to use jumbo frames.
  • Network traffic can affect latency and overall performance of acquiring images.
  • All GigE camera traffic is only going through a single network port on the PXI controller, potentially limiting the performance of the cameras due to bandwidth.
  • PXI controller's network interface is generally not above 1Gbit/s.  Only a concern if system requires bandwidth above 1Gbit/s.
  

GigE Camera(s) on Network with PXI Controller Only

Pro

  • Flexible configuration that only uses one network port of PXI controller.

Concerns

  • Network switch that GigE cameras and PXI controller are connected to must support jumbo frames in order for NI-IMAQdx to use jumbo frames.
  • All GigE camera traffic is only going through a single network port on the PXI controller, potentially limiting the performance of the cameras due to bandwidth.
  • PXI controller's network interface is generally not above 1Gbit/s.   Only a concern if system requires bandwidth above 1Gbit/s.
   

GigE Camera(s) Connected to PXI Ethernet Network Interface Module Directly

Pro

  • Highest performance configuration.  Each PXI Module can be selected to meet the bandwidth needs of the camera.
  • No worries about jumbo frame incompatibility.

Concerns

  • Each PXI Ethernet Network Interface Module takes up a slot in the PXI.
  

Combination of PXI Controller Network Port, PXI Ethernet Network Interface Module, and Switches

  • You can use variations of the above three configurations to create a setup that has benefits that meet your needs.

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