Matrox Aims to Expand Industrial Imaging Capabilities with Latest Vision Controller

May 06, 2021 by Robin Mitchell

Matrox recently announced the renewal of its established vision controller series, the Matrox Supersight.

Who is Matrox?

Matrox is an industrial company that develops and manufactures vision systems OEMs in different industries, including manufacturing, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and medical device imaging. Matrox is a Canadian company founded in 1973 and established branches in more than 25 companies globally.

Matrox products integrate many different components depending on the application. These include 3D sensors, smart cameras, vision controllers, I/O cards, and frame grabbers. 


Matrox’s Computer Vision Platform Series: Supersight Computers

Recently, Matrox announced the renewal of its computer vision platform series, the Matrox Supersight. The Matrox Supersight platform consists of three main products, incorporating a different number of Matrox Supersight SHBs independent computing systems. 

There are a few underlying devices that make up a product in the Matrox Supersight platform range. All products start with a Matrox Supersight PCIe Gen3 backplane that includes four separate slots for holding compute cards and 11 PCIe Gen 3 slots for additional hardware. The switched fabric backplane allows computing modules and cards to be placed into any slot while still communicating with each other.


The new Matrox Supersight. Image used courtesy of Matrox


The second component in the Matrox range is the Matrox Supersight SHB. This single-board computer integrates an Intel CPU with four DDR4 sockets, an internal display port, 6 SATA interfaces, multiple USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 headers, internal RS-2323 headers, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

From there, the Matrox Supersight range introduces the Matrox Supersight Solo, Matrox Supersight Duo, and Matrox Supersight Quad. As the name suggests, the solo/duo/quad indicates the number of SHBs on the switch fabric PCIe Gen 3 backplane. 

All of the products in the series are housed in a standard 4U enclosure, allowing the unit to be easily installed in pre-existing industrial setups.

The use of additional PCIe slots allows for future expansion of the system, which helps future-proof designs. The PCIe slots support the use of additional hardware manufactured by third parties and support image-acquisition boards. 


Utilizing the Matrox Supersight Platform

The Matrox Supersight Platform is mainly aimed at distributed computer applications involved in machine vision. Matrox also designs software for machine vision applications, and software tools are available by Matrox to help engineers develop customized applications that require Distributed MIL functionality. 

The capabilities of the SDKs developed by Matrox are further enhanced using Microsoft Windows 10 IoT enterprise, which is pre-installed into the SHB modules. This allows engineers to access the standard Windows framework.

Another consideration in machine vision is the many vision systems and vision protocols available. The use of the Matrox Supersight Platform is suited for vision applications that deal with multiple different protocols thanks to the configurability of the platform. This is further helped with the Matrox Imaging frame grabber boards, which can support any camera interface type that an engineer may face. 


The front and back view of the Matrox Supersight Platform. Image used courtesy of Matrox

The Matrox Supersight Platform is suitable for any application that deals with vision systems. One potential use-case of the Matrox Supersight platform is the need for a camera system on a robotic arm to inspect what it is about to handle optically. 

Instead of needing to interface with the robotic software or controller, the Matrox Supersight Platform could be integrated with a frame grabber and essentially sit in between the robotic arm's optical connection and its controller. 

From there, the frame grabber would transfer the captured video to the SHB, whereby it is processed (looking for details, color detection, etc.) and can then relay this data to an industrial controller.

Matrox hopes that this new Supersight Platform will allow engineers to have more control of their specific computing systems.