USB3 Vision

The USB3 Vision standard was initiated in late 2011, with version 1.0 published in January 2013. While the standard is new, the machine vision industry is not unfamiliar with USB technology. The USB interface brings broad levels of consumer awareness, easy plug and play installation, and high levels of performance. The expertise of many companies was combined to create a standard that accommodates the varied needs within the machine vision industry. This approach allows off-the-shelf USB host hardware and nearly any operating system to take advantage of hardware direct memory access (DMA) capabilities to directly transfer images from the camera into user buffers. Leveraging camera control concepts from the GenICam standard means end users can easily implement USB3 Vision into existing systems. With the USB-IF organization’s established track record of continuously updating the USB standard to improve speed and add features (USB 3.1 has already been released which doubles the speed), USB3 Vision will continue to leverage these improvements.


The standard builds upon the inherent aspects of USB 3.0, bringing end-to-end data reliability at over 400 Mbytes/s. The recently approved USB 3.1 standard more than doubles this effective speed but adoption has not yet started.

Receiver Device

PC (direct). With USB interfaces built into almost all PCs and embedded systems, no additional interface card (frame grabber) is necessary in many situations.


Standard passive copper cable 3-5m; active copper cable 8+m; multi-mode fiber optic cable 100m.


USB3 Vision type connectors: host side (standard A locking) and device side (micro-B locking).

USB3 connectors

Camera Power Supply

Through standard passive copper cable 4.5W (5V, 950 mA) maximum; power supply through active copper varies, no power supply through multi-mode fiber optic.

Other Differentiators

Frame grabber like image transfer performance.

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