TMS adds Ardent Concepts

Ardent Concepts is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance multi-coax and coaxial assemblies, connectors, and sockets used in the development of next generation semiconductors and electronics systems. Our core technology is the smallest, fastest, most electrically efficient compression mount connector technology worldwide. As data rate requirements increase and devices and systems shrink, Ardent’s products deliver superior signal integrity in a dense footprint that can be reusable across programs to maximize cost savings.

Our focus is on helping bring next generation computing to market through novel connector designs for test & measurement, OEM applications, and specialized military applications.  Ardent’s patented contact technologies are well suited for advanced multi-GHz applications such as board stack connectors, coaxial connectors, FPGA sockets, flex circuit connectors, probe interfaces, and mezzanine card connectors. We have a complete line of high performance test socket solutions for the most advanced chipsets such as RF devices, ASICS, switches, processors and MEMS devices.  We support chip to chip, chip to board, board to board and flex to board applications

New Matrox Imaging Rapixo CXP Series Frame Grabbers

Multi-link frame grabbers support the highest speeds in CoaXPress 2.0 for high-end machine vision applications

MONTREAL, Quebec, 9 April 2018 — Matrox® Imaging is pleased to announce Matrox Rapixo CXP, a new series of multi-link CoaXPress® 2.0 frame grabbers. Leveraging the latest version of CoaXPress, the Rapixo CXP boards support data rates of up to four times 12.5 Gbps, with a PCIe x8 host computer interface to match, as required in high-speed, high-resolution machine vision applications. Rapixo CXP features up to four connections, and further simplifies integration with support for Power-over-CoaXPress (PoCXP) that combines power, command, and data interfaces onto one cable. Matrox Rapixo CXP boards also offer custom onboard image processing using their field-programmable gate array device (FPGA) and can also host the license for Matrox Imaging software, avoiding the need for a separate hardware key.

Key features:

Higher speed with CXP 2.0
The major feature of the CoaXPress 2.0 standard is the increased data rate; now up to 12.5 Gbps. The doubled bandwidth per connection is thoroughly ready for the new generation of high-resolution high-rate image sensors.

Simplified connection
Rapixo CXP supports up to four connections to either interface with up to four CXP 2.0-compliant cameras or to accommodate higher data rates from one or two cameras through connection aggregation. The PoCXP design streamlines system set up by combining the camera’s power interface with its command- and data-interface onto the same coaxial cable.

Custom FPGA-based image processing
Rapixo CXP makes use of a FPGA device from the Xilinx Kintex® UltraScale™ family for not only integrating the control, formatting, and streaming logic of the various interfaces, but also allowing developers to incorporate Matrox Imaging- or user-developed custom image pre-processing operations—developed in C/C++—to offload from the host computer.

Supported by Matrox Imaging Library (MIL) software
Applications using the Rapixo CXP are programmed using the latest MIL software development kit (SDK) and can target either 64-bit Windows® or Linux®. The frame grabber series also facilitates application deployment through an integrated license fingerprint for MIL software.

“The Matrox Rapixo CXP family provides immediate benefits and access to customers looking to leverage the CoaXpress 2.0 standard,” says Mathieu Larouche, product manager, Matrox Imaging. “The added speed over a single link looks to be a boon for interfacing to cameras that will integrate a new generation of still higher-resolution and higher-rate sensors in the most straightforward way.”

Availability
The Matrox Rapixo CXP will be available in Q2 2018.

Visit Matrox Imaging at The Vision Show (April 10-12, 2018; booth 1003) for the introduction of the Matrox Rapixo CXP.

New Abaco Systems ImageFlex

Image processing software to speed development of autonomous vehicles introduced by Abaco

Abaco Systems in Huntsville, Ala., is introducing release 2.0 of its flexible ImageFlex image processing and visualization software toolkit, which provides an easy-to-use API framework to considerably speed and simplify the development, optimization and maintenance of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) applications -- especially those targeted at autonomous vehicles.

ImageFlex enables developers of image and video processing and visualization applications on graphics processing units (GPUs) to be substantially more productive by hiding the complexity of the underlying software layers, while maintaining high performance.

 By providing an OpenGL abstraction layer it can reduce the number of lines of code required by a factor of five, radically reducing the effort and time needed in order to create, test and maintain the application. This means faster time-to-market as well as lower development cost.

ImageFlex is complementary to Abaco's NVIDIA GPU-based GVC1000 and GVC2000 hardware platforms, which use the NVIDIA Jetson supercomputer on a module for AI computing at the edge. This allows the creation of complete solutions for Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), 360-degree situational awareness, helmet mount sight processing, target identification and tracking and other EO/IR processing applications. It is portable across a range of graphics processing architectures and operating systems, and is potentially safety certifiable.

Related: Software tool to speed and ease development of embedded computing GUIs introduced by Abaco

The ImageFlex API provides functions for a range of image processing operations from simple image transformations through to more complex lens distortion correction and image morphing.

It includes optimized, high quality image fusion, stabilization, tracking and distortion correction algorithms, as well as a comprehensive set of reference application examples that provide core software building blocks. ImageFlex also provides tools and reference examples demonstrating how to integrate with sensors and deploy artificial intelligence-based applications such as object detection and recognition.

 In addition, ImageFlex provides an innovative, high performance image fusion function that can fuse image data from multiple sources of different resolutions. The algorithm adaptively adjusts to pull through the regions of highest contrast in each source to a produce a fused result, enabling an observer or processing stage to act on the combined information of the sources.

New Abaco Systems FPGA-based embedded computing board for EW, radar, and digital beamforming

Abaco Systems in Huntsville, Ala., is introducing the VP889 high-performance field-programmable gate array (FPGA) embedded computing board for electronic warfare (EW); radar and sonar processing; satellite communications systems, multi-channel digital transmission and reception; and advanced digital beamforming.

The VP889 has the latest Xilinx Ultrascale+ FPGA and Zynq Ultrascale+ technology for advanced security, and is a form, fit, and function upgrade for the Abaco VP881.

Next-generation signal processing systems require bandwidth, low-power processing capability, and small size on an open COTS platform. With FMC+, customers have as much as 300 gigabits per second digital serial bandwidth to and from modular I/O devices.

 Integration is simplified, and time to market reduced, via the VP889's Board Support Package which enables engineers to get started quickly and focus on their value added and proprietary IP rather than hardware implementation details.

Related: FMC RF conversion module for wide-bandwidth multi-channel radar receivers introduced by Abaco

The embedded Zynq ARM Processor included on the VP889 eliminates the need for a single-board computer in many systems, reducing system size, cost, and power consumption.

Configurable serial interface options, as well as a variety of FPGA densities to choose from, provides customers with the flexibility to select the device size and family that best fits their application technical and cost requirements without the expense associated with custom board development.

The FMC+ site supports all Abaco FMC cards as well as third-party solutions that comply with VITA 57. The VP889 can be populated with I/O capable of greater than 5 gigasamples per second data rate or modules with as many as 16 channels per card. The flexibility of FMC gives customers the ability to address several system parameters from wide-band low-latency to multi-channel coherent systems.

New Ametek Asterion 1U/2U

NEW - Asterion  3kVA High-Power AC Sources Offer High-Power Density and Touch Screen Simplicity

AMETEK Programmable Power has added three new models to its Asterion line of AC/DC power sources.

The Asterion 1503 supplies up to 1,500 VA or 1,500 W.
The Asterion 2253 supplies up to 2,250 VA or 2,250 W.
The Asterion 3003 supplies up to 3,000 VA or 3,000 W.

All three units come in a 2U enclosure and are user selectable between single and three phase.

The key to Asterion's outstanding performance is AMETEK's iX2tmcurrent-doubling technology. With iX2, as the output voltage decreases from the maximum value to one-half the maximum value, the available output current increases up to two times the rated output current. This allows Asterion to maintain maximum power through the widest range of voltages to test more with a single solution. Contact us today to learn how Asterion can solve your greatest test challenges.

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Datasheet

New Anritsu MP1900A

Signal Quality Analyzer-R MP1900A

High-performance BERT

Anritsu's NEW Signal Quality Analyzer (SQA) MP1900A BERT is a versatile solution than can measure next-generation PCI Express Gen 4 and Gen 5 buses, as well as the latest 400 GbE/200 GbE Ethernet Networks. With comprehensive interface support, the MP1900A is an all-in-one solution that accurately measures next-generation high-speed electronic and optical devices, and optical receivers used in high-end servers, communications equipment and optical transceivers/modules, including those for M2M and IoT applications.

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Datasheet

New Pickering 4-Slot USB/LXI Modular Chassis

The new 4-Slot Modular Chassis (model 60-105) complements Pickering’s 2-slot USB/LXI Modular Chassis (model 60-104) in that they both offer a small, lightweight form/factor ideal for portable, benchtop and space restrictive applications. These chassis are designed for desk or rack mounting and feature remote control via USB or LXI Ethernet. Remote control over a network enables the switching function of a test system to be located as close as possible to the target equipment. 

The new 4-slot chassis supports between one and four of Pickering’s 3U PXI modules. Possible systems include switching matrices up to 2208 crosspoints or up to 72 channels of programmable resistor/sensor simulation. 

The chassis is USB 3 compatible and has a fully compliant LXI interface. These communications standards enable the chassis to be controlled directly through standard interfaces found on most personal computers and tablets that support HTML5, allowing for a very practical route into a variety of applications in the modular test and measurement market. 

Pickering Interfaces stands behind all of their manufactured products with a standard three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support. 

Yokogawa Test & Measurement Releases the new AQ6360 Optical Spectrum Analyzer

Yokogawa Test & Measurement Corporation announces the release of the AQ6360, an optical spectrum analyzer for production line applications that employs the dispersive spectroscopy technique* and covers optical communication wavelengths in the 1200–1650 nm range. With its compact, lightweight design and optimal performance specifications for production line applications, the AQ6360 is an ideal instrument for the production line testing and inspection of the semiconductor lasers used in optical transceivers, optical amplifiers, and other types of optical communications devices.

Development Background
The ever rising use of information technology and communication services continues to drive the construction of new networks, data centers, and other technology infrastructure. Combined with the shift toward the use of optical communications networks to connect data centers, there is a rising demand for transceivers and other types of optical transmission devices.

As manufacturers of optical transceivers and other types of optical transmission devices continue to add to their production capacity, they have a rising need on their production lines for an optical spectrum analyzer that is compact, inexpensive, and easy to use. The new AQ6360 meets all these requirements.

Product Features
1. The right specifications at a low price
As its performance specifications have been optimized for the production line testing and inspection of semiconductor lasers, the AQ6360 costs approximately 30% less than our high-performance AQ6370D model.

Major specifications:
Wavelength resolution: 0.1 to 2 nm
Level sensitivity: +20 to −80 dBm (dBm: decibel per mW)
Dynamic range: 55 dB

2. Stable measurement independent of optical fiber type
The AQ6360 features a unique free-space optical input. As no fiber is mounted inside the instrument, the AQ6360 can accept light signal inputs from both single-mode and multimode fibers, ensuring stable measurement independent of the optical fiber type.

3. High-speed measurement
The AQ6360 can measure optical signals approximately two times faster than the AQ6370D.

4. Compact
The AQ6360 is compact, measuring just 426 mm (W) × 459 mm (D) × 177 mm (H), and it weighs only 15.5 kg. It is approximately 20% shorter and lighter than the AQ6370D.

* A technique for the extraction of a narrow range of wavelengths by passing light through a diffraction grating and a narrow slit

Major Target Markets
Manufacturers of semiconductor lasers, optical transceivers, optical amplifiers, and other types of optical communications equipment

Yokogawa’s Commitment to the Field of Optical Spectrum Analyzers
In 2006, Yokogawa released the AQ6370 optical spectrum analyzer, a high-performance instrument that employs the dispersive spectroscopy technique. Since then, the Company has added models to this series that accept wavelengths in the optical communications, visible light, near-infrared, and mid-infrared ranges. Our optical spectrum analyzers are widely used in the development of optical devices and instruments. The new AQ6360 is a compact and easy-to-introduce instrument that costs less, has the same usability and reliability as the AQ6370 series, and has the right specifications for use in production line testing and inspection. With a versatile lineup of optical spectrum analyzers that meet a wide range of customer needs, Yokogawa is a leader in this global market. The company’s products are ideal for a wide range of applications, from research and development to production.

New VTI EX1401

EX1401

EX1401 Thermocouple/Voltage Instrument Offers High Accuracy and Speed, Signal Isolation and Power Over Ethernet

The AMETEK VTI Instruments EX1401 adds high common mode measurement capability to the EX1000 Series of instruments, an advanced, full-featured data acquisition family designed to acquire precision data from temperature and voltage sensors. The EX1401 delivers accurate and highly repeatable thermocouple (±0.20°C) and voltage measurements by implementing fully integrated signal conditioning, including independent Cold Junction Compensation (CJC). With maximum programmable
sample rates at 20 kSa/s/channel, the EX1401 is well-suited for a wide range of applications that require maximum accuracy and the recording of fast transient signals

Features

• Typical accuracies of ±0.20°C
• 16-channel isolated universal
thermocouple/voltage inputs
• Power over Ethernet (PoE)
• 20K samples/second/channel sample rate
• 24-bit ADC per channel
• 500 V channel-ground isolation
• 1000 V channel-channel isolation
• Data logger acquisition mode
• Built-in parallel data streaming
• Full-featured embedded web interface
• LXI Ethernet interface
• 8-bit bank isolated digital I/O
• Compact 1U half-rack form factor

Applications

• Automotive and battery testing
• Highly accelerated life test/highly
accelerated stress screening (HALT/HASS)
• Health monitoring
• Jet engine testing

Matrox NASA Case Study

Matrox Logo

How a NASA Facility is Digitizing over 90,000 Planetary Mission Images

University of Arizona uses Matrox Imaging OCR software to read text-field data from Surveyor missions in record time and with perfect accuracy

The University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) is home to the Space Imagery Center, a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility. Founded in 1960, LPL was one of the few places engaged in studies of the solar system at that time.

In 2015, NASA partnered with the University of Arizona, providing funding to digitize the film images and data from the Surveyor moon landers that have been in storage since the 1960s. The goal is to create an archive for inclusion in the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS), a collection of data products from NASA planetary missions. As John Anderson, senior media technician at LPL, describes it, his "focus and primary area of responsibility is the digital recording of the images, extracting and decoding the encoded image data optically recorded on each film frame, and processing the pictures for viewing in a digital format."

Raw materials
Between 1966 and 1968, the five successful Surveyor missions returned over 92,000 individual images of the moon's surface. Film images were created by focusing a 70 mm film camera at a precision CRT display monitor and photographed onto special recording film.

In the 50 years since, the computer files and video tape records have long disappeared or become obsolete—the only existing copies of the images are the film rolls.

Many frames from the Surveyor missions had seemingly legible text, which the operators initially thought could easily be read by conventional optical character recognition (OCR) software. They soon discovered that the characters in the text were a dot matrix similar to old printers using a 7x9 teletype-style character, making it a challenge to find an OCR software capable of accurately reading the text fields. A comprehensive OCR solution was needed.

A stellar solution
This is where Matrox comes in. Anderson notes, "Lorne Trottier, co-owner of Matrox, saw an article in Planetary Report about the NASA PDS project. He reached out to the university through Arnaud Lina, director of research and innovation at Matrox Imaging, offering assistance using Matrox's OCR software to read LPL's text information. [LPL] selected some cropped images to upload for a test and the results were amazing. It was very encouraging, especially with the failure of other OCR products to read the human readable text (HRT)."

Mission control
The overall project involves creating a searchable archive that will outlast conventional physical media repositories. Given the possible long-term reference potential of the images and data, there is need for careful and accurate treatment of the resources.

The workflow comprised an image scanning system from Stokes Imaging. The Stokes Imaging System captured between four and eight frames per minute as high-resolution TIFF images. At the conclusion of the scanning phase, LPL found themselves with over 92,000 individual images.

Operator interaction was intensive during the original scanning process. While the Stokes Imaging System was automated, the film itself was not uniform in spacing, indexing, exposure, or processing. Once scanned, Adobe® Photoshop® and MATLAB software were used to pick out the details and create large composite mosaics from the image files. The process also required manual error checking since the decoding of the dot-field data relied on calibration lookup tables created from the original 1966 pre-launch test data.

We have liftoff
The project began in February 2015 with the assembly of the Stokes system, and continues to process, catalog, and data-mine the information contained within the images.

Even though there are sprocket perforations on the film stock, the original recording transport was sprocket-less, resulting in inconsistent frame spacing as well as frames drifting with respect to the edge perforations. The team at LPL were unable to determine a consistent film advance, and with each new roll of film, the spacing of the frames and lateral positioning of the image shifted. This resulted in overall images with text in different places, as well as some images tainted with artifacts. Moreover, the data fields have HRT with varying number of characters.

Matrox's solution—based on one of its efficient and accurate OCR software tools—beautifully addressed the problem of reading dot matrix characters, and reduced the time expenditure to a few minutes per roll.

The initial review of the Matrox OCR solution showed an almost perfect read from nearly 4,500 different image files. For example, for roll 1 of Mission 5, the Matrox OCR solution scanned 846 files, reading 15,191 individual fields for a staggering 99.77% accuracy. Rolls 2 and 9 of Mission 5, were even better, yielding respective 99.92% and 100% accuracy rates.

Looking to the future
The University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Space Imagery Center, a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility, serves as the repository for many images and resources from all NASA missions. To date, the Matrox software has helped tackle data from Surveyor 5, and will prove a valuable tool during the catalogue and error check of data from Surveyor 6 and 7, along with other mission materials from NASA projects and explorations.

Conclusion
The Matrox OCR software has been an instrumental addition to the archiving project. Continued use of the system will accelerate the recording of text information from the Surveyor image files, enhance the accuracy of the metadata, and streamline what can be a very labor intensive and tedious task.

Anderson notes, "Compared with accuracy rates of 75% to 85% achieved with the original approach, there is no doubt as to the better result. Our project has been greatly enhanced and the progress of reading and cataloging the data with high accuracy would not have been possible without the gracious assistance of the Matrox team."

Acknowledgements
The team at the University of Arizona’s LPL would like to recognize the following individuals for their contributions to the NASA PDS project: 

Justin Rennilson, primary technology resource person for the PDS project. 
Shane Byrne, director of the Space Imagery Center. 
Maria Schuchardt, data manager of the Space Imagery Center.
John Anderson, senior media technician at LPL. 
Leon Palafox and Rodrigo Savage, for overseeing MATLAB coding and processing. 
John T. Stokes, president of Stokes Imaging, supplier of the scanning system and technical consultant to the project.

For more information, contact Media Relations.