Wednesday, October 01, 2008

25M fps Bar Code Reader

PhysOrg: The new imaging technique reported by UCLA postdoctoral fellow Keisuke Goda, graduate researcher Kevin K. Tsia and electrical engineering professor Bahram Jalali uses a phenomenon known as amplified dispersive Fourier transform to read bar codes at a frame rate of 25 MHz — about a 1,000 times faster than current technology.

The new technology, dubbed the CWEETS Scanner (chirped wavelength electronic encoded time domain sampling), first maps the one-dimensional bar code image onto the spectrum of an ultrashort laser pulse and then maps that into an amplitude-modulated waveform that is captured with a single optical-to-electrical converter. This is in stark contrast to typical camera-based bar code readers, which require many optical-to-electrical converters — in other words, an array of pixels — to capture the image. The new imager requires only a single pixel and is free of mechanically moving parts.

To view an animated film illustrating the concept of amplified dispersive Fourier-transform imaging, see (Windows Media).

Now the only remaining thing is to find an application which requires to read barcodes at 25M fps speed.

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