CameraLink (CL) is a high-speed interface for digital cameras and frame grabbers. Since various manufacturers used different camera interfaces and connectors in the past, CameraLink was standardized by the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) as an interface for industrial image processing. In addition to the actual interface specifications, CameraLink also includes specifications for the communication protocol and the connecting cable.
CameraLink is a high-speed serial interface for high- resolution industrial cameras used in machine vision applications. It works with a standard cable of 10 m to 15 m in length. In terms of configuration, there are Lite, Base, Medium and Full configurations. In the Lite configuration, a data throughput of 100 MB/s is achieved; in the Base configuration, a maximum of 24 bits per clock pulse are transmitted, with a data throughput of up to 255 MB/s being achieved. These values result at 85 frames per second and a pixel count of 3 MB. Then there is the Medium configuration with a data rate of 510 MB/s and the Full configuration with up to 850 MB/s. This configuration corresponds to a resolution of 3 megapixels and a frame rate above 200 frames per second.
The high-speed version CameraLink High Speed (CLHS) features a gross bandwidth of 48 Gbit/s and a maximum data rate of 2.1 GB/s. The high-speed version is available in various configurations with data rates of 2.1 GB/s, 9.6 GB/s and 16.8 GB/s.
CameraLink works with Low Voltage Differential Signaling( LVDS) and uses a 26- pin miniaturized Sub-D connector, the MDR-26, which is the same as the connector used by National Semiconductor for their Channel Link. It is smaller than the 36-pin MDR connector used by Low Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS). Power can be supplied to industrial cameras via Power over CameraLink (PoCL).