Technical Articles

USB Power Delivery also powers your camera peripherals

Thanks to USB Power Delivery in the USB 3.1 Gen 1 board-level cameras, you will save space and money and won't need a power supply.

Power transfers up to 20 V and 5 A (100 W) with USB cables will be possible with the new USB Power Delivery specification 3.0. For a USB camera that uses no more than 2 W electrical power itself like the uEye LE USB 3.1 Gen 1 of IDS Imaging Development Systems GmbH, this feature is not so important. But in machine vision applications cameras will often be accompanied by peripherals like powerful LED lights for a better illumination of the scene objects. For these an additional power supply unit is required. But particularly embedded applications want to save costs and space.

Variable power supply at the camera's I/O connector, thanks to the use of USB Power Delivery
Variable power supply at the camera's I/O
connector, thanks to the use of USB Power Delivery
The board-level version of the uEye LE USB 3.1 Gen 1 has a USB Type-C connector, which offers a variable power supply for your camera peripherals at the I/O connector. This ranges from 5 to 15 V at an output of 1 A each. The camera could request the necessary electrical power over the USB connection from the host. The USB Power Delivery (PD) capabilities are negotiated between the camera (upstream facing port) and the host (downstream facing port) via the specified PD protocol. You can select the available power profiles for the I/O voltage using the uEye API.
The variable power supply at the I/O connector of the uEye camera can only be used if the camera is connected to a USB PD-capable power provider using a USB Type-C full-featured cable. The devices communicate over the dedicated CC-Line (Configuration Channel) within the USB Type-C cable. If the camera could not reach a PD communication partner, only the “normal” 5 V USB power with 900 mA current is available for its own use.

The possibilities of the new USB Type-C connection like the upcoming data transfer rate USB 3.1 Gen 2 or an intelligent power supply through USB Power Delivery are reasons to spend development time in this new camera connection technology to early equip industrial cameras with this new connector.
So the uEye LE USB 3.1 Gen 1 camera could be operated by USB PD voltage profiles that ranges from 5 to 15 V. Camera peripherals can be powered using the surplus electrical power requested without requiring an additional power supply unit. This saves space and costs for corresponding power electronics. USB Power Delivery in the uEye LE USB 3.1 Gen 1 is therefore a "smart potentiometer" for your camera peripherals.