Barcode Scanner for Logistics:
Scangate with FPGA Preprocessing

Prototype with FPGA hardware accelerator VC Power SoM

The challenge:
large box, small barcode

The fully automated Scangate is designed to identify and read barcodes on packages as a forklift drives through. This is challenging because of the large Field of View in which barcodes may be present, with a very small Region of Interest, where the barcodes must be found.

The solution:
Embedded vision with FPGA accelerator

In the archway scanner, several embedded vision systems are integrated, featuring the FPGA accelerator VC Power SoM. The FPGA receives and processes the raw image data to identify areas with barcodes in real-time. Only these cropped image areas are then extracted and passed on to the processor board.

A fully automated barcode scanner: proof of concept by Vision Components

Vision Components has developed this project to demonstrate a fully automated barcode scanner ideally suited for the logistics sector. The scanner reads and identifies barcodes across a large detection area. For the prototype of this application, several embedded vision systems are integrated into an archway. Each of these systems consists of a MIPI camera module with optics, lighting, a VC Power SoM FPGA accelerator and the processor board.

The FPGA accelerator is the key “building block”

The FPGA accelerator VC Power SoM is integrated in the design of the mainboard for this setup. When a forklift drives through the Scangate, VC Power SoM receives the raw image data from the camera. In the FPGA, the images are analyzed and areas with barcodes are identified in real time. Only these image areas are cropped and passed on to the processor board. This significantly reduces the data stream that needs to be processed for the actual barcode reading.
FPGA accelerator integrated in barcode scanner for logistics
mipi camera module integrated in barcode scanner for logistics
lens integrated in barcode scanner for logistics
Forklift truck drives through a scangate with barcode scanner

The FPGA accelerator is the key “building block”

The FPGA accelerator VC Power SoM is integrated in the design of the mainboard for this setup. When a forklift drives through the Scangate, VC Power SoM receives the raw image data from the camera. In the FPGA, the images are analyzed and areas with barcodes are identified in real time. Only these image areas are cropped and passed on to the processor board. This significantly reduces the data stream that needs to be processed for the actual barcode reading.

Benefits of VC Power SoM for Scangate applications

Lower demand for performance

The VC Power SoM minimizes relevant image data and thereby reduces the required computing power and processing complexity in the CPU. As a result, the processor board can be chosen with greater flexibility, resulting in a more cost-effective solution with also lower power consumption.

Data processing in real time

The FPGA accelerator is specifically designed for embedded vision applications. With 120,000 logic cells, it can efficiently process large data streams in parallel and in real time. This is an advantage of the FPGA Technology over ARM cores, which typically demand significantly higher computing power for such applications.

Flexible integration into the design

Measuring tiny 28 mm x 24 mm, the VC Power SoM module enables quick and seamless integration of FPGA technology into an overall system design. It efficiently handles all application-specific preprocessing of the raw image data.

Shorter time to market

The ultra-compact FPGA accelerator simplifies development and significantly shortens the time to market. This accommodates faster development cycles in electronics engineering and cost savings, while ensuring full industrial-grade quality and suitability and minimizing design risks.

VC Power SoM with MIPI camera modules

Keyfacts

Technology

Embedded Vision with FPGA
Challenge
Preprocessing of image data

VC Vision Solution

VC Power SoM
VC MIPI Cameras

Are you developing your own Scangate or a similar application?
Would you like to deploy an FPGA accelerator for Embedded Vision?

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