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Image Processing Accelerates Tenfold

Jul 2008
•  GPU/CPU parallel processing
•  accelerated image processing   functions
•  further acceleration by HLSL

stemmer.jpgCommon Vision Blox from Stemmer Imaging GmbH is a widely used image processing library with applications in gauging and surface inspection, colour analysis, bar-code reading and object recognition. The latest version provides a tenfold increase in the speed of some functions.

The software takes advantage of the inherent power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) on the graphics card of the PC. Driven largely by the video games market, GPUs have dramatically improved over the years and often are underused in business and commercial applications. The GPU is faster than the central processing unit (CPU) and is optimized for image manipulation operations. Transferring some of the calculations to the GPU frees the CPU to perform other tasks simultaneously, achieving a type of parallel processing. Stemmer has added functions to the software library to enable users with no GPU programming experience to take advantage of this feature. These additions include image filtering, colour transformation between the RGB and HSI colour spaces, and Bayer formats.

Other newly accelerated functions include point operations between two images, parallel processing of four monochrome images, flat-field correction, and the rotation and scaling of images. Because the data transfer time between the CPU and the GPU cuts into the time gained by the parallel processing, it helps to combine several image processing algorithms within the graphics card. Users familiar with the HLSL (high-level shading language) graphics programming language can do this.

Common Vision Blox is a modular product, enabling the user to purchase cost-effectively. Modules include Blob, Bar Code, Edge, Filter, ShapeFinder and Movie. The Foundation package is the entry-level package for new users.


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