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Imaging & Vision Handbook

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Parallel digital camera interfacing

The first generation of cameras that required a digital output in the 1980's and 90's used parallel digital; firstly RS422 and later LVDS.

There are still some cameras that use this technology, but as there is no standard, every combination of camera and frame grabber uses a different connector, which makes cabling very complex. Because the speed of the interface is limited, many cameras use multiple channels or taps to increase data throughput and many of these digital cameras offer high dynamic range output that requires 10, 12, 14 or even 16 bits per pixel. LVDS and RS422 require two wires per signal, therefore, for a 16-bit camera with two output taps the required cable contains about 70 wires, including timing and control. Parallel digital interfacing has largely been replaced by CameraLink.