Balluff - BVS CA-SF Technical Documentation
A/D reference Upper threshold of video signal to be digitized. All values above this limit value are digitized to 255. Increasing the reference level results in contrast deterioration and vice versa.
ADC Analog-to-digital converter (A/D converter).
API Application programming interface (API). The standard API for Balluff/MATRIX VISION products is called Impact Acquire.
Base address Starting address from which the memory or register are inserted.
Bpp Bits per pixel
Bus A group line via which the various parts of the computer communicate with one another.
BusyBox Configurable monolithic application including shell and other useful
command line tools - often called the "swiss army knife" for embedded
systems. Even desktop distributions are sometimes relying on BusyBox
due to its robustness. Please see for details.
CCIR Comité Consulatif International of the Radio Communications European video standard for 50 Hz gray scale.
CIFS Common Internet file system (CIFS) replaced Samba in 2006.
It gets rid of NetBIOS packets an introduced Unix features like
soft/hard links and allows larger files.
Clamp signal Clamp signal means, that a AC coupled video signal is clamped on the porch to get a signal transfer with less noise and independent from the d.c. voltage portion.
CPU Central processing unit aka processor.
DAC Digital to analog converter (D/A converter).
Defaults Standard system settings.
DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP is a protocol
used by networked devices (clients) to obtain various parameters
necessary for the clients to operate in an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
Digital I/O Digital inputs and outputs.
External trigger External event used to initiate image capture.
False colors Colors are assigned to gray scale via a look-up table. This allows even small gray scale differences can be displayed clearly.
GDB GDB, the GNU Project debugger.

GenICam stands for GENeric programming Interface for CAMeras.
It's a generic way to access and modify device parameters with a
unified interface. A GenICam™ compliant device either directly provides
a GenICam™ compliant description file (in internal memory) or the
description file can be obtained from a local (hard disk etc.) or web
location. A GenICam™ description file is something like a machine
readable device manual. It provides a user readable name and value
range for parameters that are offered by the device for reading and/or
writing and instructions on what command must be sent to a device when
the user modifies or reads a certain parameter from the device. These
description files are written in XML. An excerpt from such a file can
be seen in the figure below:

Excerpt of a GenICam™ description file (in XML)

For further information on this topic please have a look at How to get access to a certain feature in an application that works with the GenICam™
interface and for information on the difference between the GenICam™ interface layout
and the Impact Acquire interface please have a look at the chapter matching your
preferred programming language:

  • "About different interface layouts"
GenTL GenTL is the transport layer interface for
cameras, acquiring images from the camera, and moving them to the
user application.
Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) The term Gigabit Ethernet (defined by the
IEEE 802.3-2008 standard) represents various technologies for
transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of a gigabit per second
(1,000,000,000 bits per second).
GigE Vision™

GigE Vision™ is a network protocol defined and administered by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), designed for the
communication between an imaging device and an application. This protocol completely

  • device discovery
  • data transmission
    • image data
    • additional data
  • read/write of parameters.
    GigE Vision™ uses UDP for data transmission to reduce overhead introduced by TCP.
    UDP does not guarantee the order in which packets reach the client nor
    does it guarantee that packets arrive at the client at all. However,
    GigE Vision™ defines mechanisms that can detect lost packets.
    This allows capture driver manufacturers to implement algorithms
    that can reconstruct images and other data by requesting the device to
    resend lost data packets until the complete buffer has been assembled. For further information please have a look at
    The Balluff GigE Vision™ capture filter driver as well as the socket based
    acquisition driver and all Balluff GigE Vision™ compliant devices support
    resending thus lost data can be detected and in most cases reconstructed. This
    of course can not enhance the max. bandwidth of the transmission line thus if
    e.g. parts of the transmission line are overloaded for a longer period of time
    data will be lost anyway.
    Both capture drivers will allow to fine tune the resend algorithm used internally
    and both drivers will also provide information about the amount of data lost and
    the amount of data that was re-requested. This information/configuration will be
    part of the drivers SDK. More information about it can be found in the
    corresponding interface description.
On Windows 2000 the filter driver does not support the "Resend" mechanism.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) The HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode increases
the usable contrast range. This is achieved by dividing the integration
time in two or three phases. The exposure time proportion of the three
phases can be set independently. Furthermore, it can be set, how many
signal of each phase is charged.
Horizontal sync The portion of the analog signal which specifies the line end of the video signal.
Host Here: the PC
HRTC With a Hardware Real-Time Controller (HRTC)
built inside the FPGA users can define a PLC like sequence of operating steps to
control basic time critical functions like exposure time, image trigger and I/O
ports. Timing is hard real-time with sub microsecond high resolution.
IDE a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to
computer programmers for software development. An IDE normally
consists of a source code editor, a compiler and/or interpreter,
build automation tools, and (usually) a debugger.
Image refresh rate Number of transferred images per second. Normally specified in Hz (e.g. 70 Hz)
Interrupt Interrupt signal sent to the processor. The program currently running is interrupted and a predefined function is executed.
IPKG Itsy package management system originally designed for
embedded systems. Please have a look at or a more sophisticated documentation
at "Overview_of_the_ipkg_package_management_system"
Balluff distributes all non-firmware, i.e. optional software as ipk packages.
IRQ Interrupt request
ISR Interrupt service routine
JFFS2 JFFS2 is a file system which supports wear leveling.
See also
Sources about the JFFS file system:
Link Aggregation (LAG)

Dual-GigE cameras need a network interface card with
two network interfaces. However, both network interfaces have to work as a unit.
Link aggregation (LAG) or bonding is the name of the game and has to be supported
by the network interface card's driver. With it you can bond the two network interfaces
so that the work as one interface.


Logical link address (LLA) is a type of mechanism to
obtain a valid IP address without a DHCP server being present. Whether an IP
address is available or not is resolved using address resolution protocol (ARP)
packets. If no ARP response is received on a given address it is considered unused
and will be assigned to the interface. LLA space is 169.254.x.y, i.e. 16bit netmask
yielding 64K possible device addresses.

With Linux you have to add LLA as an additional interface.
By default, you can find one interface in Connections:
(This description uses "Gnome Network Manager", however using KDE should be similar)

In Wired, you can add interfaces via Add:

In the tab "IPv4 Setting" you have to set "Link-Local Only":

After saving, you will find both connections in the summary:

Now, you can select the wished connection using the left mouse button in the "Network Manager" menu. In the LLA case it is just the new created connection:

Look-up table Table of assignments. Here, new gray scale or colors are normally assigned to gray scale. Look-up tables can, however, also be used for any other math functions.
LSB Least significant bit
LUT Look-up table
MAC address Media Access Control address (MAC address) is
a quasi-unique identifier attached to most network adapters (NICs) in
computer networking.
MTU Maximum transmission unit (MTU) refers to the size (in bytes) of
the largest packet that a given layer of a communications protocol can
pass onwards. The default MTU for Ethernet is 1500. The optimum for
Gigabit Ethernet is 8000 - 12000. Different MTU settings in the same
subnet can cause package losses, i.e. never ever
change the
MTU unless you know what you're doing. Changing the MTU to other values
than 1500 when using file or web services from other computers are
almost always a bug. It's save to increase MTU when working in
peer-to-peer mode with both devices sharing the same MTU. Please not
that few network cards support 16K, most Gigabit Ethernet cards are
limited to 9k, some don't support Jumbo Frames (MTU > 1500) at all.
Monochrome A single-color (black and white) image
MSB Most significant bit
Impact Acquire

This driver supplied with Balluff products represents
the port between the programmer and the hardware. The driver concept
of Balluff provides a standardized programming interface to all
image processing products made by
Balluff GmbH.
The advantage of this concept for the programmer
is that a developed application runs without the need for any major
modifications to the various image processing products made by
Balluff GmbH. You can also incorporate new driver versions,
which are available for download free of charge on our website:

The SDK documentation of the Impact Acquire can be found at the manuals section.

Netboot With netboot you can boot a BVS CA-GX camera over network.
This is especially useful when several devices share the same pieces
of software, i.e. same root file system, which might be subject to change
NFS Network File System (NFS) is a network file system protocol,
allowing clients to access files over LAN. Given that you need a NFS
server are uncommon on Windows, this protocol best fits for Linux-Linux
NIC Network interface card - synonym for network controller.
Overlapped / pipelined transfer

By default, the steps exposure and readout out of an image sensor are done one after the other.

  • By design, CCD sensors support overlap capabilities also combined with trigger (see figure).
  • In contrast, so-called pipelined CMOS sensors only support the overlapped mode. Even less CMOS sensors support the overlapped mode combined with trigger.

Please check the sensor summary.

In overlapping mode, the exposure starts the exposure time earlier during readout.

In overlapped trigger mode, you have to keep in mind the following formula
 interval between two trigger events >= (readout time - exposure time) 
Pixels Picture element
PSE Power sourcing equipment. The network PoE element that inserts
power onto an Ethernet cable.
Pseudo colors Display of gray scale images in false colors. A corresponding color is assigned to a specific gray scale value.
Resolution Number of pixels (horizontal x vertical)
ROI/AOI Region/Area of interest.
SFNC Standard Feature Naming Convention
of GenICam.

See also
The latest GenICam™ properties list can be found here:
The file is called "GenICam™ Standard Features Naming Convention (PDF)"
Shell In computing, a shell is a piece of software that provides an
interface for users. Command-line shells provide a command-line
interface (CLI) to the operating system. The primary purpose of
the shell is to invoke or "launch" another program; however, shells
frequently have additional capabilities such as viewing the
contents of directories.
Square pixels Square-shaped pixels (height-width ratio 1:1)
True color 24-bit true color; 16.7 million colors
USB3 Vision™ A closed source framework, defined and administered by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), for transmitting video and related control data over USB 3. Sometimes U3V is used as an acronym.
UDP The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is an Internet protocol. It is used by applications to send messages to other hosts on an Internet Protocol (IP) network.
Vertical sync Synchronization pulse in video signal for field end recognition.
Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a
graphical desktop sharing system that uses the RFB protocol
to remotely control another computer. Over a network, it
transmits the mouse and keyboard events from one computer
to another, relaying the graphical screen updates back in
the other direction.

To access the camera's desktop from a PC via VNC,

  • you have to know the IP address of the remote system.
  • Start a VNC viewer and
  • point it to the remote system.

You won't need a password. Of course, you won't get a very
fast live image display via the network with VNC but you
should be able to start ImpactControlCenter and capture images.

wxWidgets wxWidgets is a cross-platform GUI library. It can be used from
languages such as C++, Python, Perl, and C#/.NET.
See also
Zero signal The zero signal was needed with the old frame grabbers, to calibrate the analog/digital converter (ADC) (signal and parameter aren't important anymore).