Point Grey debuts USB 3.0 digital video camera

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Point Grey has announced plans to showcase the "world's first" SuperSpeed USB-enabled digital video camera at the 2009 Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco.

The prototype camera utilizes a 3 megapixel (MP) Sony IMX036 CMOS image sensor, which ensures high sensitivity, color fidelity, low power and elminates smear. The sensor also supports HD 1080p60 mode to facilitate the output of raw, uncompressed 1920 x 1080 pixel images at 60 frames per second (FPS).

Point Grey USB 3 camera

"One of the potential benefits of the increased bandwidth of USB 3.0 is that it allows the main processor to handle compression," explained Point Grey spokesperson Vlad Tucakov. "This means that different types of compression can be used for different applications and that some applications, like face recognition, can work on uncompressed video data for increased performance. We certainly see USB 3.0 as a key interface technology for machine and computer vision, and one we plan to integrate into future Point Grey imaging products."

Point Grey SuperSpeed USB-enabled digital video camera

According to Tucakov, Point Grey's software driver provides low-level control of the camera via the USB 3.0 bus. The camera is connected to a USB 3.0 interface card on the host side (Intel i5-based P7P55D ASUS motherboard) which is powered by the FL1000, a PCI Express to SuperSpeed USB Extensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) host controller chip from Fresco Logic.

Jeff Ravencraft, Chairman of the USB Implementers Forum, termed the planned demonstration a "key milestone" for SuperSpeed USB.

SuperSpeed USB 3 digital video camera Point Grey

"We are very pleased to see Point Grey and Fresco Logic teaming up to demonstrate true uncompressed (HD) video streaming. This demonstration gives users insight into some of the other applications that are possible with SuperSpeed USB in addition to the high-speed data transfers with external storage devices that we have seen so far," added Ravencraft.

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