About Us

“Sometimes, it just takes a change of perspective to see clearly.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

How It All Began – and Where We Are Today

It all began in 1997, when two former fellow students Dr. Ralf Lay and Dr. Klaus-Henning Noffz decided to make their mark on FPGA programming in the development of innovative frame grabbers, using their extensive know-how, and to start a company based in Mannheim.

Thanks to the release of VisualApplets in 2005, Silicon Software succeeded in developing a programming tool with a graphic environment that is highly respected in the industrial imaging market and that has been recognized with the VISION Award. Since then, VisualApplets has served as the standard for those companies who wish to port their own image processing algorithms onto FPGAs.

Silicon Software is today a member of the Basler Group.

In 2018, there is the opportunity to realize joint visions with Basler in order to continue to grow and to broaden the worldwide expansion. In July 2018, Basler AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of industrial cameras, acquires 100% of Silicon Software, which gains a strong and valued partner in the industry. Basler in turn complements its product portfolio with the frame grabber families in the direction of the performance segment of the computer vision market. Both companies can now offer solutions ranging from image acquisition to image evaluation for all performance areas worldwide.

In June 2019, Dr. Klaus-Henning Noffz relinquishes management and changes to Basler AG to assume strategic responsibilities. The management of Silicon Software is taken over by Dr. Dietmar Ley in order to be able to carry out integrative steps faster and to bind the two companies even more closely to each other.

Managing Director D. Ley
Dr. Dietmar Ley, Managing Director of Silicon Software and CEO of Basler AG

Silicon Software Milestones

Silicon Software GmbH founded

Silicon Software was established and registered in September of 1997. Focus lay on industrial imaging.
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1st Appearance at VISION show

Even in 1997, VISION was the leading trade show for international imaging. Silicon Software was an exhibitor.
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Release of the microEnable I series

With FPGA preprocessing and a modular interface concept, the first generation of Silicon Software frame grabbers was born.
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Real-time Bayer color reconstruction

With color value conversion in real time, inline inspection (i.e., for image printing inspection) was now possible.
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Release of the microEnable II series

The second generation of frame grabbers started with high FPGA resources, fulfilling even highly complex system requirements.
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Real-time segmentation

In 2001 at VISION, we presented object segmentation that separated pixel objects using color analysis.
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Release of the microEnable III series

Right after the standard was finalized, Silicon Software started on its first Camera Link frame grabber family.
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Membership in AIA

Silicon Software became an AIA member and committed itself to the Camera Link Specification Group.
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Move to Schildkrötstrasse

Silicon Software occupied new space in Mannheim's High-Tech-Park for the next growth phase.
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Membership in EMVA

Silicon Software became a member of the European Machine Vision Association (EMVA) and became involved in the GenICam standard.
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Release of VisualApplets

In VisualApplets, Silicon Software presented a new graphical FPGA development environment product line.
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Membership in VDMA

Silicon Software became a member of the Robotics & Automation Association (Machine Vision Group) within the VDMA.
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Silicon Software wins VISION Award

The internationally renowned industry prize for technological innovation was awarded to Silicon Software for VisualApplets.
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10-year anniversary

Silicon Software celebrated the tenth anniversary of its founding in Mannheim.
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Release of the microEnable IV series

Silicon Software extended its product portfolio by expanding to Camera Link, GigE Vision and LVDS.
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Move to Steubenstrasse

Silicon Software continued to grow, doubling its office space for the coming growth phase.
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Release of SmartApplets

With SmartApplets, Silicon Software granted the wish for application-related real-time processing.
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Release of DMA900

Data transfer rates were optimized to 900 MB/sec to fully exploit the potential of frame grabbers and main boards.
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Release of microEnable 5 ironman series

A new generation of high-speed frame grabbers with CoaXPress, Camera Link HS, and color processing with Camera Link began.
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Release of DMA3600

Bandwidth optimizations for data transfer at 3.6 GB/sec were made available for the microEnable 5.
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15-year anniversary

In spite of the international crisis, Silicon Software looked back on 15 very successful years in imaging.
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Silicon Software Inc. founded

The goal of such expansion was improvement of distributor and direct business in the American market.
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inVISION Top Innovation Award 2015

The LightBridge series' novel concept was immediately selected as one of the most interesting innovations in 2015.
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Release of LightBridge

An external frame grabber with automation interfaces – LightBridge heralded a new product line.
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Release of microEnable 5 marathon

The marathon product line built upon high-speed interfaces and offered an attractive price-to-performation ratio.
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Two awards for VisualApplets in cameras

VisualApplets is embedded in Baumer LX VisualApplets cameras, honored in 2016 with even two innovation prizes.
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New extensions and more functions

Punctually at the 10th anniversary we released the new version VisualApplets 3 of our multiple awarded development environment as 64 bit version.
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VSD Award in Gold for VisualApplets Embedder

VisualApplets Embedder awarded with VSD innovation prize 2017 in gold. FPGA devices can be equipped faster with custom applications.
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Silicon Software celebrates 20th jubilee

20 years of continuity in change. Existing product lines were further optimized and supplemented by new ones.
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VSD Award in Gold for deep learning concept

VSD Innovation Award 2018 in Gold for deep learning concept with deep neural networks (CNN) on FPGAs, implemented in VisualApplets.
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Organization of the IVSM together with VDMA

Organization and execution of the international standardization meeting IVSM in Frankfurt with a record number of participants together with VDMA.
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Basler acquires 100% of Silicon Software

Basler AG, the world's leading manufacturer of industrial cameras, acquires 100% of the shares of Silicon Software GmbH.
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Move to new building Eastsite IX

Due to the steady growth of the workforce, Silicon Software has rented a newly erected building in Mannheim's Eastsite.
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