About this series


Introducing CoaXPress

CoaXPress (CXP) is a simple yet powerful standard for moving high speed serial data from a camera to a frame grabber. Video is captured at speeds of up to 6.25 Gigabits/Second (Gb/S). Control commands and triggers can be sent simultaneously to the camera at rates up to 20 Mb/S (with a trigger accuracy of +/- 2 nanoseconds). Up to 13 W of power can also supplied to the camera. All of this happens over a single piece of industry standard 75 Ohm coaxial cable.

Multiple CXP links can be aggregated to support higher data rates (e.g. four links provide 25 Gb/S of data).

The CXP standard opens the door to applications where cable cost, routing requirements, and long distances have prevented the move to high resolution, high speed digital cameras. In many cases, existing coaxial infrastructure can be repurposed for CXP with very low installation costs.


The Virtual Frame Grabber

The Cyton-CXP4 can be configured in many different ways. It can acquire from one quad CXP-6 camera (total data rate: 25 Gb/S), four single link CXP-6 cameras, or anything in between. When acquiring from multiple cameras, each camera is attached to its own virtual frame grabber. This allows independent acquisition and control of each camera. However, when a four link camera is attached, only one virtual frame grabber is needed.


The StreamSync system consists of an Acquisition Engine and a Buffer Manager. It was first released on the Cyton-CXP and is a departure from previous BitFlow frame grabbers. The StreamSync system is a start-from-scratch complete redesign of the acquisition and DMA parts of a frame grabber. BitFlow used its years of experience in this area to design a next generation, super efficient capture system.

StreamSync Features

  • Efficient support for variable sized images with fast context switches between frames
  • Per frame control of acquisition properties (AOI specifically)
  • Hardware control of image sequencing
  • Enhanced debug capabilities
  • Efficient support for on-demand buffer allocation (Genicam model)
  • Gracefully recover from dropped packets (either on the input side or the DMA side)

CoaXPress High Speed Uplink

The Cyton-CXP has an optional fifth CXP connector that can run the full 6.25 Gb/S from the frame grabber to the camera. The CoaXPress standard is still evolving, but the need for this high speed uplink has already become apparent. The demands for bulk uploads to the camera and precise trigger accuracy have already outstripped the current 20 Mb/S uplink specification. The Cyton-CXP is fully ready for when the new CXP standard is released that defines when and how this uplink will be used.

PCI Express Gen 2.0 Interface

The Cyton-CXP has a Gen 2.0 x8 PCI Express bus interface. The Gen 2.0 PCIe bus doubles the data rate of the Gen 1.0 bus while using the same footprint and connectors. The board will work in Gen 2.0 x16 and x8 slots, with a minimum electrical configuration of x8.  This ensures the board will run at full capacity.

Camera Control and I/O

The Cyton-CXP can acquire fixed or variable size images and features a programmable ROI (Region Of Interest) sub-windowing capability. The Cyton-CXP fully supports the CoaXPress 1.1 specification, which provides a high priority trigger packet from the frame grabber to the camera (note: both 1.1 and 1.0 cameras are supported, but the GPOI packet part of the 1.0 specification is not). All I/O signals can be routed to/from many internal and external destinations, providing a flexibility that is unprecedented in the industry. In addition, there are separate hardware I/O signals which can be connected to/from external sources. Finally, each CXP camera has a full set of these signals which can be run independently. The Cyton-CXP board, as with our past interface products, supports not only simple triggering modes, but also complicated, application-specific triggering, and control interactions with your hardware environment.

Application Support

Adding the Cyton-CXP to your application is simple with our SDK, which supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Applications can be developed using C/C++/.NET and our sophisticated buffer management APIs. In addition, free drivers can be download from our web site for most 3rd party machine vision packages. The Cyton models are software compatible with each both other and with all the other current BitFlow frame grabbers. This makes migrating applications from Camera Link or analog to CXP and vice-versa simple and quick.

CYT-PC2-CXP44 single link CXP-6 / 2 dual link CXP-6 / 1 Quad link CXP-6
CYT-PC2-CXP22 single link CXP-6 / 1 Dual link CXP-6

Send Enquiry