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.
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.
Of course it will be compressed. Uncompressed HD isn't needed or practical (outside of visual effects), even for major motion pictures.