TVB Tech Alert: USB 3.0 Webcam Demoed at IDF

SAN FRANCISCO: A USB 3.0 Webcam was demonstrated streaming uncompressed 1080p video this week at the Intel Developer Conference. The prototype device, from Point Grey Research in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

“The prototype camera... uses the new 3 megapixel Sony IMX036 CMOS image sensor, which features high sensitivity, superior color fidelity, low power, and no smear,” the company’s product release states. “The sensor also supports an HD 1080p60 mode, which allows the camera to output raw, uncompressed 1920 x 1080 pixel images at 60 frames per second. Point Grey’s own 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 which is powered by the FL1000, a PCI Express-to-SuperSpeed USB Extensible Host Controller Interface host controller chip from Fresco Logic. The host PC uses an Intel i5-based P7P55D motherboard from ASUS.”

USB 3.0 itself is said to be ten times faster than 2.0, less power-consumptive and backwards compatible. Gizmodo said video from the device displayed a “crystal clear” picture on a 42-inch monitor. Point Grey indicated the camera would be ready for prime time later this year or early in 2010.

Other TVB Tech Alerts:
September 21, 2009: HDI Unveils Laser 3DTV
Silicon Valley start-up HDI has unveiled its laser, hi-def 3DTV. The company demonstrated its prototype for reporters in the Bay Area last week.

September 10, 2009: “3GPP Integrated Mobile Broadcasting Standard”
A new third-generation standard for mobile broadcasting was ratified this week by the Global System for Mobile Association. The new 3GPP Integrated Mobile Broadcast Standard facilitates mobile broadcasting over different types of cell networks.

July 7, 2009: “Mitsubishi LaserVue Price Drops”
The price of Mitsubishi’s laser-based TV sets is coming down. The company’s 65-inch L65A90 LaserView HDTV sets are now going for $6,499 on Amazon, a $500 discount from the introduction price of around $7,000. The LaserVues were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, 2008, and rolled out in the market last fall.