IDS Imaging Development Systems has boosted the performance of the USB 2.0 connection for its uEye cameras. New driver software allows the operation of USB cameras in master mode, so that the camera itself controls the data exchange. In this way, significantly higher frame rates can be achieved in triggered cameras.
When two devices are connected via USB, the USB architecture requires one of them to act as the master controlling data traffic on the bus. That is usually done by the PC. Peripherals, such as cameras, run in slave mode: they can only transmit data when the host PC requests it. Consequently, a USB camera in trigger mode previously had to be set to ready state first before each image capture.
The master mode offers a solution that removes these USB protocol constraints. By passing control of image data transfer to the connected cameras, it makes maximum use of the USB 2.0 bandwidth and allows for very high frame rates with external triggering: the triggered frame rate now reaches the same level as in live mode, where the camera continuously transfers images. In Area-of-Interest (AOI) mode, in which the sensor transfers only a specific part of the image, USB cameras can now process several hundred trigger pulses per second.
The USB master mode is included in the latest driver version 3.33 and is available as an update for all USB uEye cameras. Among the many new features and enhancements of this software package are API functions, sample programs with source code, and additional subsampling and binning modes. The USB uEye ME models are also supported by this driver version.