CoaXPress CXP-6 Frame Grabber

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Reference number: ACS-COAXPRESS-Framegrabber

The FIREBIRD COAXPRESS Frame Grabber is designed for ultimate performance providing the very fastest image acquisition without any CPU intervention using the latest FPGA families, DDR3 memory, and a fast Gen2 PCI Express interface


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Frame Grabber Overview

FireBird Single CXP-6 is a member of Active Silicons state-of-the-art FireBird frame grabber family.

CoaXPress is a new digital transmission standard that allows high speed data from a device such as a camera to be transferred to a host such as a frame grabber. The CoaXPress link supports up to 6.25 Gbps data rates, along with device power up to 13 W and device control at 20 Mbps all on a single coax cable. Very long cable lengths are supported up to 40 m at 6.25 Gbps and over 100 m at 3.125 Gbps. Active Silicon was one of the primary authors of the CoaXPress specification which is now a JIIA (Japanese Industrial Imaging Association) standard.

FireBird is supported by Active Silicons PHX software development kit (SDK), which allows easy migration for customers using Phoenix frame grabbers. The PHX SDK is available as a separate item, and allows rapid system development and integration. It provides comprehensive example applications and optimized libraries, and is available for a variety of operating systems via a common API, including Windows and Linux (32 bit and 64 bit environments) as well as Mac OS X and QNX. Drivers for third party applications are also available such as Cognex VisionPro, HALCON, Common Vision Blox, StreamPix, LabVIEW etc. Full GenICam support is included in the drivers and this includes a GenTL Producer for data streaming as well as register accesses. As well as functions that control the hardware, the libraries include general purpose functions for the manipulation and display of images. A separate datasheet describes the SDK in detail.


  • CoaXPress gives high speed data, power, and camera control all over a single cable.
  • High performance with 6 Gigabits per second input rate.
  • Fast PCI Express 8-lane Gen2 interface.
  • RISC based DMA engine gives zero CPU acquisition.
  • Comprehensive I/O.
  • Supports PoCXP (Power over CoaXPress).
  • Standard half-length PCI form factor.
  • Full GenICam support (including GenTL Producer).
  • Supported by the proven PHX SDK.





CoaXPress Interface

A BNC connector provides one link operating up to 6.25 Gbps, and providing up to 13W of power via Power over CoaXPress (PoCXP). A LED built into the BNC shows the link status according to the CoaXPress specification.

2 BNC connectors provide two links each operating up to 6.25 Gbps, and each providing up to 13W of power via Power over CoaXPress (PoCXP). These can support two individual cameras, or one camera requiring two links. LEDs built into each BNC show the link status according to the CoaXPress specification.

4 BNC connectors provide four links each operating up to 6.25 Gbps, and each providing up to 13W of power via Power over CoaXPress (PoCXP). These can support up to four individual cameras, or combinations of cameras requiring multiple CoaXPress links for instance one camera requiring two links, and two additional cameras each using one link. LEDs built into each BNC show the link status according to the CoaXPress specification.

Buffer Memory

512 Mbytes of DDR3 memory is fitted for buffering between the CoaXPress interface and the PCI Express bus.

PCI Express

8-lane Gen2 interface to support up to 40 Gbps transfer from FireBird to the PC.


The following I/O lines are provided for triggers, shaft encoders, exposure control and general I/O:

  • 4 opto-isolated inputs.
  • 4 opto-isolated outputs.
  • 4 TTL inputs, 5V tolerant.
  • 4 TTL outputs, 5V logic.
  • 4 RS-422 inputs.
  • 4 RS-422 outputs.

All these I/O signals are provided on a 50 way header on the FireBird board.

Power Input

An 8 way PCI Express Graphics (PEG) connector is provided to connect to a 6 or 8 way PEG connector from the PC power supply. This is only needed for PoCXP.

Fan Controller

The fan speed is linked to the temperature of the FPGA die for optimum cooling and noise level.

PCI Express Interface

PCI Express Bus eight lane Gen2 interface to Specification Revision 2.0, with a max payload size of 512 bytes.

FireBird Single CXP-6 supports both Short (32 bit) and Long (64 bit) Address packets. It also generates Posted Writes for image data, thus achieving transfer rates in excess of 3.4 GBytes/sec, subject to host performance.

The board requires 16 MBytes of address space.


FireBird Single CXP-6 conforms to v1.1of the CoaXPress specification.


EU: CE-mark for compliance with EMC EN 55022:2010 (class A) and EN 55024:2010 in accordance with EU directive 22014/30/EU. RoHS compliance to RoHS3 directive 2015/863/EU.


The printed circuit board is manufactured by UL recognised manufacturers and has a flammability rating of 94-V0.


PCB: 168 mm by 111 mm.

Overall: 187 mm by 111 mm.


150 g

162 g

185 g

Power consumption (typical)

+3.3 V @ 400 mA

+12 V @ 880 mA

+12V PEG Connector up to 17 W for PoCXP

+3.3 V @ 400 mA

+12 V @ 900 mA

+12V PEG Connector up to 34 W for PoCXP

+3.3 V @ 400 mA

+12 V @ 920 mA

+12V PEG Connector up to 68 W for PoCXP

Storage Temperature

-15°C to +70°C.

Operating Temperature

0°C to +70°C

Relative Humidity

10% to 90%