Everything you need to know about USB3.1 vision cameras and the new cost effective IDS LE camera series


Industrial Imaging interfaces and camera sensors continue to become faster and more economical.  For the veterans in the industry, we’ve seen analog (RS-170), Fire-wire and USB2 interfaces phase in and and out as newer faster interfaces are developed.  We are now on the doorstep of several new interfaces, one being USB3.1

The consumer electronics market has given birth to this next generation with data rates up to 10 Gbit/s and power transfer of 100 watts.  

What benefits will USB3.1 provide?

USB3.1 opens up the doors for the new Sony Pregius and ON-Semiconductor Python image sensors and cameras.  The native sensors themselves are designed to run at much higher frame rates, but throttled back to fit within the USB3 bandwidth.  That being said, higher speed interfaces such as CameraLink and CoaXpress could be used, but comes with added cost and complexity.  

USB3.1 will open the doors to these sensors allowing them to run at their fully designed frame rates with ease of use.  

Additional power capabilities is also designed into USB3.1 ports providing 5 amps @ 20 volts.  We expect this may open the door to options which may include power for lighting and controllers. 

What connector and cables will be required?

USB type C plug connectors will be implemented onto the new cameras supporting USB3.1. In turn, cables will be needed that are Type C to Type A for industrial imaging applications.  

1stVision will have cables available later in 2016 to support this upcoming interface.  Stay tuned!  (See current USB3.0 cables including Active and Hybrid Active Optical USB3 cables)

What cameras are up and coming? 

IDS Imaging will debut their first USB3.1 camera in the fall of 2016 starting with engineering prototypes.  The focus will be on the new uEye LE series which will be small in size and be very cost effective with great sensors.  This has been designed ideally for OEM systems.

Camera features will include: 

  • USB3.1 interface with Type C connector
  • Various package options from full board level, board level with lens mounts to housed versions.  
  • Multiple I/O for trigger and flash
  • I2C Bus for controlling external devices
The first models will be the UI-3860LE with Sony STARVIS IMX290 rolling shutter providing 2MP (1936 x 1096) resolution at ~ 120 fps. This will be followed by the UI-3880LE using the Sony STARVIS IMX178 sensor providing 6 megapixel (3088 x 2076) resolution at up to 60 fps.  

Target applications are night surveillance & security, low light microscopy, machine vision, metrology, medical engineering and astronomy applications

What benefits do the Sony STARVIS image sensor provide? 

The STARVIS sensor is a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors. It boasts extremely low light sensitivity with high picture quality in the visible light and near infrared light regions.  

 See the key points of the Sony STARVIS Back-illuminated CMOS image sensors

With new releases coming on a regular basis, we know it can get confusing on what sensors are best for a given application.  1stVision has over 100 years of combined knowledge and can help you design in the best solution.  

Please do not hesitate to Contact us!  
1st Vision can provide a complete solution including cameras, lenses, lighting and cables.  

Ph:  978-474-0044info@1stvision.com

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