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Webcam Does Streaming Uncompressed HD

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Point Grey demonstrated that USB 3.0 can be used to stream uncompressed HD video.

Yesterday Point Grey decided to tease IDF attendees with its prototype webcam that can actually stream HD video across the upcoming USB 3.0 interface. The company demonstrated that uncompressed video at 1920 x 1080 can stream at 60fps without any hitches using the new USB technology. Granted 1080p can temporarily result in rather large files, the imagery is super sharp and crystal clean, especially from a makeshift webcam.

Point Grey's website offers more information about the prototype camera, revealing that it uses Sony's IMX036 CMOS image sensor, Xilinx's field programmable gate array (FPGA), a Standard-B USB 3.0 connector, and Point Grey's low-level USB 3.0 driver. In the connected PC, Point Grey used a USB 3.0 interface card powered by the R1000 xHCI controller from Fresco Logic, and the Intel-based P7P55D Asus motherboard.

Unfortunately, Point Grey doesn't plan to release the prototype camera as an actual product. "We built it solely as a technology demonstration to showcase the benefits of SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0)," the company said. "We have no plans to make it available for sale." Point Grey also added that the demonstration was to bring awareness to the industry that SuperSpeed USB will provide huge performance benefits.

"USB 3.0 will be a key digital interface in the imaging and vision industries in the years to come," the company said. Hopefully the prototype camera will lead to actual products sometime within the next year.

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  • -1 Hide
    cdillon , September 23, 2009 11:26 PM
    I wish everybody in the press would stop calling this thing a "webcam", it isn't. It is designed for computer vision applications (robots, manufacturing processes, etc.), not for having face to face chats with your mom over the internet.
  • 6 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 23, 2009 11:41 PM
    cdillonI wish everybody in the press would stop calling this thing a "webcam", it isn't. It is designed for computer vision applications (robots, manufacturing processes, etc.), not for having face to face chats with your mom over the internet.
    I'll withhold comment until I see if the porn industry shows interest.
  • 0 Hide
    krazynutz , September 24, 2009 12:42 AM
    From Story"We built it solely as a technology demonstration to showcase the benefits of SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0). We have no plans to make it available for sale."

    That's as big a tease as the FFVII demo for the PS3. WTF?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 24, 2009 1:55 AM
    I'm sure regardless that the images will be somehow compressed (even if they be close to lossless compression, or 20Mbit Mpeg 2/4) in any possible future release of a cam like this.
    It seems silly to waste precious bandwidth, but makes more sense to have that extra 10ms delay, and a 2-8x compression going on.
  • 6 Hide
    hixbot , September 24, 2009 2:05 AM
    cdillonIt is designed for computer vision applications.citation]
    It was designed to show off USB 3.0
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , September 24, 2009 4:28 AM
    hixbot
    cdillonIt is designed for computer vision applications.citation]It was designed to show off USB 3.0

    +999
  • 0 Hide
    cdillon , September 24, 2009 4:42 AM
    ProDigit80I'm sure regardless that the images will be somehow compressed (even if they be close to lossless compression, or 20Mbit Mpeg 2/4) in any possible future release of a cam like this.It seems silly to waste precious bandwidth, but makes more sense to have that extra 10ms delay, and a 2-8x compression going on.


    No, because as I mentioned in the first post, it is designed for machine-vision applications. You don't want to add latency, waste CPU cycles on compression and decompression, or add compression artifacts to your images in that situation.

    It does "show off" USB 3.0, but they didn't do it just because they thought it would be neat-o, they did it to find out if USB 3.0 could actually be a viable machine-vision camera interface other than Firewire or Camera Link.
  • 0 Hide
    wildwell , September 24, 2009 4:50 AM
    Both the camera and the new serial bus technology look impressive. Streaming HD up and down the web from a plug & play device is clearly in the future.

    Of course it will be compressed. Uncompressed HD isn't needed or practical (outside of visual effects), even for major motion pictures.
  • 0 Hide
    pirateboy , September 24, 2009 7:41 AM
    so now we can see each other masturbating on cam in 1080p, very nice
  • 0 Hide
    liemfukliang , September 24, 2009 10:47 AM
    Can I see the task manager (you know about the USB 3 eathing the CPU)? I hope it has been fixed in the final version.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , September 24, 2009 12:55 PM
    Somebody, somewhere will figure out a way to sell it to the masses.
  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , September 24, 2009 3:38 PM
    Sweet, this is a toy for the rich (not me) or film/movie
    (... or porn lol)
  • 0 Hide
    audioee , September 24, 2009 5:05 PM
    I agree with cdillon. This camera is in no way a webcam.

    The company in no way makes consumer level cameras. Their products are for industrial applications. Take a look at their website.
    http://www.ptgrey.com/

    The article title is very misleading. How about "USB3.0 Digital Camera Streams Uncompressed HD"
  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , September 24, 2009 7:12 PM
    Especially because it would be very difficult to have the Internet connection required to actually stream HD uncompressed...