November 13, 2008 - The FirePRO LDR, designed and manufactured by Point Grey Research, is a compact and cost effective solution for applications that require multiple IEEE 1394 devices to be extended beyond the standard 4.5m cable length. Using a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) physical layer to transport FireWire data using GigE signalling, the FirePRO LDR can transmit and receive IEEE 1394b 800 Mb/s data in real-time over 100 meters of standard Category 5e (Cat5e) cable. This allows users to construct a dependable, high-speed FireWire-based network of multiple cameras that is physically separated by up to 100 meters from the host system.
"The LDR gives vision system designers the best of both worlds by combining the reliability of FireWire with the cable length of GigE," says Vladimir Tucakov, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey Research. "FireWire is an ideal camera interface for most vision applications, due to its high 80 MB/s data rates with guaranteed bandwidth and seamless support for multiple cameras. Some applications require the cameras to be located far from the host system. Longer cables and repeaters can be effective for distances of 10 or 20 meters, but quickly become more error-prone and costly as the distance increases. Other long distance IEEE 1394b solutions either require expensive optical fiber or have limited distance and speed. The LDR was specifically designed to address all of these issues, something we demonstrated at the VISION show in Stuttgart by simultaneously running two Point Grey FireWire cameras at S800 speeds over 100 meters of cable."
The FirePRO LDR is a two-repeater system, with one repeater at the camera side and the other at the host system side, joined by Cat5e cable. Each repeater is equipped with two bilingual 9-pin 1394b ports with screw locks, one RJ-45 connector, and a standard barrel connector for external power, and is housed in a compact 69 x 57 x 20 mm metal case. The low-latency GigE physical layer ensures the network complies with IEEE 1394b timing requirements. Like other FirePRO hubs and repeaters, the LDR requires no special software or drivers.
"Existing Point Grey customers who require longer cable lengths will also benefit from the LDR," adds Tucakov. "It acts like any other FireWire hub, and is effectively invisible to the end user. This means that our customers can increase the distance between their camera network and the controlling system without changing things like software, drivers, cameras or enclosures."
FirePRO components are designed to maximize the effectiveness of the imaging pipeline, while minimizing the costs of component failure and downtime. All FirePRO hubs, repeaters and host adapter cards are designed and manufactured by Point Grey Research at the company’s headquarters in Richmond, BC, Canada, and are backed by an industry leading two (2) year warranty. All FirePRO products are fully compatible with IEEE-1394b and i.Link, and backward compatible with 1394a.
The FirePRO LDR, part number FWB-LDR-CAT5, is priced at USD $295 (includes two repeaters) and is available now from Point Grey Research and its network of distributors.
About Point Grey Research, Inc.
Point Grey Research, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the development of advanced digital camera technology products for machine vision, industrial imaging, and computer vision applications. Based in Richmond, BC, Canada, Point Grey designs, manufactures and distributes IEEE-1394 (FireWire) and USB 2.0 cameras that are known for their excellent quality, performance, and ease of use. A broad range of hardware, software and mechanical engineering skills has allowed Point Grey to successfully bring many innovative and ground-breaking products to market. This drive for innovation has led to many industry firsts, including the first and smallest 1394b digital camera.
Since its founding in January of 1997, the company's approach to product pricing, quality control, and customer service has attracted thousands of customers worldwide, and its organic growth through product sales has enabled the company to expand significantly without any outside investment. Point Grey currently employs more than 70 people worldwide, and has a wholly-owned German subsidiary that provides sales and support services to customers in Europe, Africa and Israel. The company has also established a strong network of distributors in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, and Taiwan.
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