The CoaXPress Standard Specification Available for Review and Comment

Posted by Gretchen Alper on Thu, Nov 25, 2010

The CoaXPress high speed digital interface standard received a lot of attention at this month’s Vision Show.  Several companies, including Adimec, demonstrated products based on the current specification, which promises the ability to transmit high speed data over standard coax cable.  The Japan Industrial Imaging Association (JIIA), host of the standard, held demonstrations in its booth and officially released the final draft of the specification for review.


Input on the standard will be accepted until November 30, and the group will release Version 1.0 of the specification at the ITE Show in Yokohama, Japan in December.

CoaXPress Standardization Schedule

CoaXPress Standardization Schedule

The progress marks the culmination of a productive year that began with CoaXPress earning the 2009 Vision Award at last year’s Vision show.  Since then, support for the standard has been widespread with more than 30 companies providing feedback on the specification development, an Adopters Group formed to investigate a variety of applications, and involvement from the Automated Imaging Association (AIA) and European Machine Visions Association (EMVA) through an active CoaXPress Liaison Group making it a truly global effort.


Unlike the HSLink interface, the specification details for CoaXPress can be obtained easily, and there is no requirement for active member participation on a technical subcommittee.  For member companies of the JIIA, AIA, or EMVA, the draft specification may be obtained via these groups.  For companies that are not members of any of these organizations and are not part of the Machine Vision industry, the specification can be obtained by contacting the CoaXPress Consortium via the CoaXPress website (


Once approved, JIIA Version 1.0 of the specification will then be submitted to representatives of the AIA and EMVA for their member’s input, with a final, globally-endorsed version released in the Spring of 2011.


“We are pleased with the rate of progress and level of involvement from all sectors in the development of a very robust and comprehensive standard for high-speed digital data transmission,” said Tadashi Miyazaki Chair of JIIA CoaXPress WG. “The energy and effort over the past year reflect the market’s desire for a flexible, high performance solution that will enable great innovation and capabilities in industrial imaging products.”


CoaXPress is a digital interface specification that allows the transmission of high speed data from a device, for example a camera, to a host such as a frame grabber in a PC, at a high speed of up to 6.25Gbps over a single coax cable.  The device need not be a single camera – it could, for example, be an interface device that concatenates data from several cameras – since CoaXPress has the ability to carry multiple channels of image data and meta-data.  For communication from host to device, there is a 20Mbps “uplink” that allows for control and configuration data.  For even higher speeds, links may be concatenated to provide multiples of the single coax bandwidth.  Finally there is also power provided over each cable at 24V, up to 13W per cable. In summary, the CoaXPress standard allows for transport of image data, GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output), control, and triggering.

Coaxpress interface


In addition to the simplicity and availability benefits of using coax, CoaXPress works over relatively long cable lengths, depending on the precise cable type – up to 40m at 6.25Gbps and much further, up to 140 m, at lower speeds.

Supporters, such as Active Silicon’s Colin Pearce, are enthusiastic. He was quoted recently as saying, “It’s almost too good to be true; when we first show people, they don’t always believe it. We show them a single thin cable, 50m long, and not only is it getting high-speed video data, but you can also send communication back the other way to the camera, and also the power is delivered over the cable. It’s scalable too; if you put four of these together, you’re up to 25Gbit/s.”

For more information on CoaXPress, email, visit or click here.

Topics: Interface Technology

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