Some time ago we completed an image processing system intended for high speed surface inspection tasks. The system may be configured for many different inspection tasks by selection of appropriate processing modules. This is 'industrial strength' image inspection rather than the limited expandability offered by commercially available systems. If the solution requires eight 8 x 8 convolvers and eight TI TMS320C80 processors, plug them in. The control processor is able to determine what is plugged in and can then connect the modules together through a programmable non-blocking crossbar switch to implement several algorithms in parallel. As modules become idle the control processor will identify when sufficient resource is available to start another processing thread from a queue, then make the appropriate connections and initiate the task.
The system is connected to a standard PC allowing the user interface to be developed under Windows. The PC also provides networking and database functions.
The motherboard utilises a digital signal processor for control functions and provides sites for 'intelligent' framestore memories, some basic image processing functions and a large crossbar switch.
System timing is set up by the DSP processor and implemented by logic in FPGA and CPLD chips, these parts also provide bus and DRAM controllers and the system control and status registers.
A series of daughterboard connectors allow a variety of plug-in image processing modules to be used depending on the algorithm support and throughput required.
Many images and blocks of processed data can be moved between the framestores and the processing modules simultaneously, thereby supporting a high degree of parallelism.
Module boards include:
- Dual Convolver / Rank Value Filter
- Dual Histogrammer with statistics processor
- Dual TI TMS320C80, each with dual framestores
- Frame grabber with camera drift compensation
- Image display plus graphics overlay