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CoaXPress® Technology

CoaXPress® technology is an open and royalty-free asymmetric, high-speed, point-to-point open serial communication standard for high-performance machine vision, industrial inspection and traffic monitoring systems. It provides a state-of-the-art method for connecting high-performance, high-resolution cameras to high-speed capture cards—which are also known as frame grabbers—via standard, off-the-shelf 75Ω coaxial cables. This cost-effective solution enables the transmission of data, video and still images; camera control and triggering; and up to 13W of power of power to be delivered via a single cable of up to 100m in length with a standard BNC, micro BNC or HD-BNC connectors.

The data rates are scalable for multiple cables and only limited by the number of cables that can be accommodated in your design. Although CoaXPress technology is designed to meet future imaging challenges, its scalability works both ways, making it usable in a vast number of other applications. Systems that don’t require the highest performance can be built using less expensive components and still take advantage of some of the benefits that CoaXPress technology offers.

CoaXPress 2.0 Is Here

Offering a significant improvement in speed over CoaXPress v 1.1, CoaXPress 2.0 extends the data transfer rate up to 12.5 Gbps for cables lengths of up to 40m, and up to 40 Mbps for bidirectional communications. It supports higher frame rates or higher camera resolutions for developing even higher-performance video imaging systems. Key advantages of this new version of the standard include:

  • In addition to the CoaXPress 1.1 data rates of up to 6.25 Gbps, it supports 10 Gbps (CXP-10) and 12.5 Gbps (CXP-12) data rates and doubles the cable bandwidth so you can use fewer and more flexible cables and fewer frame grabber cards
  • A single camera can send data to more than one frame grabber, which can be located in different PCs
  • The doubled uplink speed of 40 Mbps enables trigger rates over 500 kHz without requiring a dedicated high-speed uplink cable
  • It includes enhanced support for event packets and 3-D data formats in the industry-standard GenICam™ programming interface
  • Support for the compact and robust Micro BNC connector is now available
  • It offers easy migration and backwards compatibility with CoaXPress 1.1 to preserve your investment in previous systems and products
 Typical Maximum Length (m) for Belden Cables
Bit Rate (Gbps) 1694A 4694R 4855R 4731R
1.25 130 137 75 210
2.5 110 118 64 180
3.125 100 108 60 160
5 65 70 40 105
6.25 55 60 33 90
10 40 45 24 65
12.5 40 45 24 65

Typical CoaXPress® Link Performance

All-in-One CoaXPress 2.0 Solutions for Your High-Speed Digital Imaging Applications

Our CoaXPress 2.0 family of devices has been designed in conjunction with the development of the CoaXPress 2.0 specification. These devices deliver unprecedented speed, performance and flexibility to help you keep pace with leading-edge industrial, embedded and machine vision application requirements. A true all-in-one solution, these devices incorporate an integrated equalizer, a cable driver plus these two unique features, which enable camera and capture card manufacturers to relax their design tolerances:

  • Integrated signal integrity test capability to indicate when cable link is in jeopardy due to design, cable wear or aging
  • Camera-side low-frequency clock recovery to eliminate the need to program the low-frequency clock on the capture card side

Other key benefits include:

  • High-speed performance, power and low-speed uplink control over a single coaxial (50 ohm or 75 ohm) or Shielded-Twisted-Pair (STP) cable
  • Support for long cables of up to 40 meters at maximum speeds of up to 12.5 Gbps
  • Integrated clock data recovery that supports all CoaXPress 2.0 speeds up to 12.5 Gbps: CXP-1, CXP-2, CXP-3, CXP-5, CXP-6, CXP-10 and CXP-12
  • Cable-provided power that reduces the need for power components in cameras

Explore These CoaXPress 2.0 Products

Part NumberDescription
EQCO125X4012.5 Gbps transmitter and receiver (cable driver and equalizer) chip; can also be used as a 12.5 Gbps (or lower-speed) cable extender/repeater chip
EQCO125T4012.5 Gbps transmitter (cable driver) chip
EQCO62X206.25 Gbps transmitter and receiver (cable driver and equalizer) chip; can also be used as a 6.25 Gbps (or lower-speed) cable extender/repeater chip
EQCO31X203.125 Gbps transmitter and receiver (cable driver and equalizer) chip; can also be used as a 3.125 Gbps cable extender/repeater chip

Take advantage of the ability to transmit high-speed, precise imaging with power, control and low latency over a single cable at distances of up to 40 meters to significantly simplify your system designs and reduce overall costs. If you’re interested in designing for the CoaXPress 2.0 standard with CXP-12 devices, get in touch with our experts who can discuss design options and ideas and provide support throughout the development process.

The History of the CoaXPress Standard

The CoaXPress Consortium was founded in 2008 by EqcoLogic (later acquired by Microchip), Adimec, Active Silicon, Aval Data, NED and Components Express. Since then many other companies from Europe, North America and Japan have also joined the consortium. At VISION 2009, the foremost machine vision trade show, the consortium was awarded the Vision Award for their efforts to further the cause of machine vision applications.

The CoaXPress standard is hosted by the Japanese Industrial Imaging Association, (JIIA). CoaXPress technology was included in the “Global Machine Vision Interface Standards” published by international G3 initiative on standardization that was formed by the JIIA, the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA).  Other standards organizations have joined the G3 and adopted the CoaXPress standard, including the China Machine Vision Association (CMVA) and the Verband Deutscher Maschinen-und Anlagenbau (VDMA).

How Can You Use CoaXPress Technology?

Machine Vision

CoaXPress technology is often selected for machine vision, industrial inspection and traffic monitoring applications because of its high-speed download of uncompressed data, along with its simultaneous low-speed uplink and power distributed over a single cable. The diagram below shows a typical use case.

CoaXPress Technology Implementation Functional Diagram
Typical CoaXPress® Technology Implementation

Embedded Vision

Embedded vision is an exciting technology. It refers to the practical use of computer vision in machines that understand their environment through visual means. The market size was originally limited because these vision systems consisted of large and expensive components: a camera with special sensors and X86-based personal computers. With the explosive growth of the mobile phone market, high-performance embedded processors and image sensors became small and affordable. This change has opened up new applications which will shape the future of entire industries.

While embedded vision systems certainly cannot take the place of PC-based vision systems altogether, embedded systems based on the open and royalty-free CoaXPress standard and its high-speed data transfer do present advantages for many new applications. They are easier to design, cost effective to build and consume less power than PC-based systems. They can be used in medical devices, autonomous vehicles and many other unique and innovative applications.

Vision Zero and the Self-Driving Car

The automotive industry is currently experiencing disruptive changes on multiple fronts: connected vehicle services, autonomous vehicles, electric mobility and shared mobility models. Although the industry has different opinions on exactly when the self-driving car will reach the mass market, it is fully expected that it will happen. There is also a consensus that these systems, which eventually will allow the autonomous car to become reality, will dramatically increase safety in human-driven vehicles to bring society a great deal closer to the Vision Zero philosophy of eliminating traffic fatalities.

The Autonomous Driving System

Architectures with a centralized “brain” are superior in handling complex autonomous driving tasks. Autonomous driving systems and Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) need to be able to perform these four complex tasks: sense, understand, act and visualize. The figure below shows a simplified autonomous driving system block diagram.

Sensor Cocoon for Autonomous Driving

A combination of more than 30 sensors is required for the “brain” to perform the task of understanding its environment and a variety of driving conditions and options. There are currently three main groups of sensor systems: camera, radar and LIDAR. Although ultrasonic sensors are in widespread use today for parking assistance, they are of minor importance for autonomous driving and ADAS. The image below demonstrates a sensor cocoon for autonomous driving.

Low-Cost and Lightweight Wire Harness

In addition to the functional aspects of an autonomous driving system, a key consideration is the cost of the wire harness. It is the third highest-cost and the third heaviest component in a car, after the chassis and engine, and comprises 50% of the cost of labor in building an entire car. Research has shown that a coaxial connectivity system is the best choice to support the required data rates of multiple Gbps in the harsh automotive environment. The costs of connectors, cables and manufacturing of coaxial systems are lower than those based on shielded differential pairs. Coaxial systems also weigh less and require less space than shield differential pair systems. However, CoaXPress technology can be supported in applications where the use of shielded differential pair may be beneficial.

CoaXPress SerDes Bridge

We have collaborated with industry partners to provide a complete connectivity solution that leverages the benefits of CoaXPress technology for developing autonomous driving and ADAS applications. The diagram below demonstrates how to implement two MIPI CSI-2 to CoaXPress bridges for a camera sensor node and an Engine Control Unit (ECU) node. This solution transports aggregated sensor data from two 8-megapixel image sensors while also providing a simultaneous 40 Mbps uplink for control and power over a single automotive coaxial cable with four inline connectors.