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What does a machine vision system consist of? | Sony at Macnica

Ever wondered what components you need to make machine vision really work? Well, Macnica supplies all the parts, including a high-data-rate image sensor from a very familiar name…

At Embedded World 2024, ipXchange chatted with Konstantinos Pappas from Macnica about a machine vision camera system that uses SONY’s IMX537 5.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor. Yes, SONY makes so many things that you can be forgiven for not realising that they also make machine vision systems!

A key benefit of the IMX537 is that it supports SONY’s SLVS-EC protocol for 5 Gbps per lane. This is much faster than MIPI and enables the highest frame rates required for the fastest automated systems.

As Konstantinos explains, any machine vision camera consists of three main parts:

  • The lens – this focusses the image
  • The shutter – this controls the amount of light entering the system
  • An image sensor – this converts incoming light into raw data
  • A processing stage – this turns that raw sensor data into something useable

As a distributor of the SONY IMX537 – which comes in colour and monochrome variants – Macnica created two modules for engineers to easily test this image sensor in applications such as automated assembly lines and inspection systems.

One of these boards contains the IMX537, with all the required circuit infrastructure. The other has the power supplies to operate the sensor, as well as the connections to interface with most FPGA development boards for the digital signal processing.

Macnica supplies many FPGA boards from companies like Altera, AMD, and Lattice in addition to its own SLVS-EC Receiver IP so that your choice of FPGA can take the raw data from SONY’s sensor and turn it into something that can be used.

We’ve summarised the main specifications for the IMX537 in one of our usual board pages, so follow the link below to learn more. If you’ve got a commercial project, fill out the form, and ipXchange will get you connected with Macnica for evaluation.

Keep designing!

Love machine vision content? Check out these other interviews from Embedded World 2024:

What is a digital twin? Next-level IoT monitoring

Machine vision with the Hailo-8 AI accelerator

How to measure heartrate with an AI camera

Introducing Astra – Synaptics redefines edge AIoT

Cadence DSP provides LLM and LVM AI at the edge

SONY IMX537 Series CMOS Image Sensors

Want high-frame-rate machine vision for a high-speed monitoring application?

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