In the past, manufacturers have had two main categories to choose from when solving ID challenges: laser scanners and conventional image-based readers. Both categories have benefits as well as limitations. Until now, improvements in image-based readers have resulted primarily from improvements in individual hardware components. But by combining imager and processor onto a single piece of silicon, the two tasks can be handled almost simultaneously, dramatically increasing decode speeds and overall frame rates. With its proprietary technology, called Cognex VSoC™ (vision system on a chip), Cognex has achieved this level of integration with the DataMan® 500 barcode reader. By eliminating the additional setup of focus, exposure, special lighting, and triggers both downtime and changeover time is reduced, resulting in fewer parts rejected, less manual rework, and cost savings.