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imec and Ximea co-develop industrial grade hyperspectral imager

30 Nov 2020

Video-rate xiSpec2 camera range is designed for diverse machine vision applications.

Belgium-based nanoelectronics research hub imec, and Ximea, a German manufacturer of scientific and industrial-grade cameras, have worked together to develop a new series of new hyperspectral cameras called xiSpec2, intended for the machine vision market.

The partners say this collaboration will speed up the adoption of hyperspectral imaging in applications such as crop monitoring, quality control in the food industry, augmented reality for surgery, robot guidance in industrial production, predictive maintenance, forensics or earth observation.

Since 2015, Ximea has been commercializing imec’s hyperspectral technology in its xiSpec cameras, which are claimed to be the world’s smallest spectral cameras.

The cameras have the capability of real-time video rate spectral data acquisition, promising new applications as they enable portables, robotics and integration in other systems where traditional "push-broom" imaging is too challenging. Push broom scanners, also known as along-track scanners, are devices for obtaining images with spectroscopic sensors.

The xiSpec2 camera is optimized to improve the spectral quality of the acquired data and enable users to tailor image quality and spectral range to their applications. Also, new software enables applications in more challenging non-standardized industrial settings, say the developers.

Talored support

Users of the xiSpec2 cameras will have access to imec’s manuals and sample data. Moreover, the research center is also offering to provide tailored technical support to help operators make the right technical decisions for their applications.

Andy Lambrechts, program director at imec, commented, “We have developed a CMOS-based hyperspectral imaging technology that, over the years, has led to hyperspectral image sensors and camera solutions that are compact, low weight and offer high reliability.

“With this extension of the collaboration with Ximea, we are offering our technical support to xiSpec2 customers to guarantee the quality needed to fully reap the capabilities of this promising technology.”

The xiSpec2 series consists of three standard cameras and tailored solutions can tailored to customers’ needs. Delivery is available from December 2020. Customers can obtain a starter kit with the necessary peripherals (including lenses and cables) to ensure a smooth startup.

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