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13MP UVC camera for multi-cam applications features FPGA and buffer for smooth streaming

Aug 12, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,217 views

E-con has unveiled a Linux-ready, “FRAMEsafe” series of USB UVC cameras with multi-frame buffers that support 4K multi-camera applications. The initial, 13-megapixel “FSCAM_CU135” model has a Xilinx Spartan FPGA and 2Gb DDR3.

E-con Systems has launched the FSCAM_CU135 — the first in a series of FRAMEsafe cameras with an internal buffer that “ensures reliable transfer of images over USB interface.” The FSCAM_CU135 is available in single samples for $239 with included lens, rising to $299 on Aug. 14.

Incorporating E-con’s FloControl buffering technology, FRAMEsafe cameras enable “decoupling of camera image capture from the USB communication” to allow “multiple FRAMEsafe cameras to be used on the same host processor without losing the frames from any camera.” The idea is that frames will not be dropped even if the Linux, Windows, Mac, or Android host computer is busy.

(click image to enlarge)

Applications include 3D scanning, parking lot management, and photogrammetry — the practice of extracting three-dimensional measurements from 2D data. The camera supports the clustering of multiple cameras connected to a single host system and offers automatic bandwidth sharing to ensure “streaming without disruption,” says E-con.


The FSCAM_CU135 is built around a 13-megapixel, 1/3.2″ AR1335 sensor from ON Semiconductors. The 1.1µm pixel BSI CMOS sensor offers up to 4208 x 3120-pixel image capture. The fixed-focus sensor has an electronic rolling shutter and offers specs including 37 dB SNR, 69 dB dynamic range, 67° field of view, and 4700e-lux/sec responsivity.

The sensor outputs uncompressed UYVY and Compressed MJPEG format images. The camera streams at Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) at 30fps and 4K Cinema (4096 x 2196) at 30fps over USB 3.0 in compressed MJPEG format. It also supports lower-resolution, higher frame rate modes.

The camera features an “on-board high performance ISP,” which appears to be the separately referenced Xilinx Spartan FPGA. Buffered data is stored on 2Gb of DDR3.

The camera’s 50 x 30mm baseboard has a Type-C port with USB 3.1 Gen 1 (the new name for USB 3.0) plus an external hardware trigger input, GPIO headers for daisy chaining triggers, and 0 to 85°C support.

The camera has an S-Mount (M12) lens holder. Volume customers can order customized lens holders and other features, and there’s a $149 (in 1K plus volume) model without a lens.

The FSCAM_CU135 supports software triggers and external trigger signal controls and offers a wide variety of UVC controls including saturation and Gamma controls. There’s also support for ROI auto exposure, special effects, scene modes, face and smile detection, and much more.

Software includes the e-CAMView Windows app and the QtCAM Linux app for video preview and still image capture, both of which use the UVC protocol for camera controls. It also works with any V4L2 compatible device. An SDK demo application for multi-camera setups offers full source code.

Other recent E-con Systems cameras include the 2-megapixel, Jetson AGX Xavier or TX2 based SurveilsQUAD, which has a MIPI-CSI-2 interface.

Further information

The FSCAM_CU135 is available for evaluation at $239 through Aug. 14, after which it costs $299. More information may be found on the E-Con Systems FSCAM_CU135 product page.


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One response to “13MP UVC camera for multi-cam applications features FPGA and buffer for smooth streaming”

  1. Dharmalingam.K says:

    Watch the demo of FSCAM_CU135 – synchronized multiple 4K USB 3.0 cameras on a single host without losing the frames from any camera.

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