Recommended components for USB 3.0 High-Speed Cameras
We strongly recommend USB 3.0 PCI Express cards for desktop systems.
Most built-in USB 3.0 controllers are not adequate enough for high bandwidth / high resolution USB cameras. As a result this will cause dropped frames and other instabilities). We do not recommend more than 1 camera on laptops because of this.
Built in USB 3.0 controllers work but the performance varies wildly depending on the chipset, cameras bandwidth requirements, and how many camera's are used in total.
The actual performance between our recommendations, and camera's can differ.
Meaning, one camera from Point Grey might have better performance with a specific chipset, vs one from Ximea, or the other way around.
Therefore we recommend you consult directly with us or follow the camera manufacturer's advice for USB 3.0 components.
External USB 3.0 controllers
- Renesas uPD720202
- Renesas uPD70200A
- Fresco FL1009
- Fresco FL11100
- Fresco FL1100EX
- LSI FW643
Internal chipsets (laptop / motherboards):
- Intel 7 series (Ivy Bridge), C216 (HM76) (451 MB/s max)
- Intel 8 series (Haswell).
- Intel 9 series (Broadwell).
- Intel 100 series (Skylake).
- Intel Z87 (Intel 8 Series / C220) Express Chipset (471 MB/s max)
- Intel Q77 Express Chipset
Please see: https://www.flir.com/support-center/iis/machine-vision/application-note/recommended-usb-3.1-system-components/ for more detailed information on which motherboards & laptops that use these chipsets.
Please note that actual performance may vary greatly, and that we do not recommend USB 3.0 HD cameras to be used with laptops in general.
The maximum USB 3 speed is 500MB/s, but in reality the limit is much lower than this. In many cases the actual performance is about half and in some cases worse than that. This means not all chipsets can handle multiple camera's with max framerate and resolution.
Tip: Using AOI/ROI (region of interest) can help lower the overall bandwidth usage.
For multiple camera setups, e.g two camera setup it's important each camera uses approx half of max bandwidth to able to use two cameras.
Some issues have been seen with AMD 300-Series chipsets (AMD Ryzen 1700 / 2700 series ) with USB 1.1 devices. Specifically with the Balance Plate, where you only get 75 samples per second instead of ~145 samples per second. We recommend using a USB 2.0 hub which will allow the Balance Plate to stream at full sample rate.
There are no known issues as far as using the AMD 300 series chipsets with USB 3.0 devices.
Although the USB 3.0 standard does not specify a maximum cable length, we do not recommend cables longer than 3 meters.
Some 5 meter cables work, whereas others don't depending on the manufacturer and camera. We recommend to use 3 meter cables + an active USB extension or repeater that fits the USB 3 specification.
Recommended cable type:
- USB 3.0 (A to Micro B with locking screws) recommended by your camera manufacturer.
- The black FLIR 3 & 5 meter USB 3 cables are good alternatives, please contact sales for more information.
- US2-AMCBI1-3M (3 meter model)
US226AMCBI1-5M (5 meter model)
For cable lengths longer than 3 meters:
It's important these cables are designed for Machine Vision, and that they are certified for USB3 Vision / Machine Vision by the manufacturer, your average USB extender will not work adequately for this use case.
When needing cable lengths above 5 meters the best solution is to use an extender that uses fiber.
Active cables use amplification to work around the problem of signal loss and can work in some cases but we recommend to use the shortest cable possible, the better solution is to use fiber extenders, although usually much more expensive, it is the only way to reliably extend USB3 over larger distances.
- Active USB 3.0 repeaters (or repeater cables) from Newnex:
Repeater & extender solutions:
Alternatives by Newnex and Icron, two manufacturer that deliver Machine Vision compliant cabling:
For longer cable runs fiber repeaters are really the only way you can extend a high frequency high bandwidth signal such as USB3 over longer distances: