What is the Difference Between USB 3.0 and USB3 Vision?

The differences between USB 3.0 and USB3 Vision are less complicated than you’d expect. While USB 3.0 describes a type of data interface, USB3 Vision is a standard developed by a consortium of leading companies in the machine vision industry.

The USB3 Vision logo on a piece of hardware and software guarantees that it is fully compatible with other products bearing the seal. It is also a promise of strong stability, allowing customers to invest with confidence for the long term. USB 3.0 refers essentially to the specifications for the port itself, while USB3 Vision goes far beyond this to include mechanical requirements for accessories, software requirements for controlling the cameras via GenICam and data transfer via Bulk. In general one can say that USB3 Vision ensures that USB 3.0 can be used at the industrial level. Within this context, the question is often posed about what makes USB 3.0 (USB3 Vision) so special as an interface.

USB 3.0 has a variety of advantages that make it especially interesting for many applications:

  • High data throughput rates of up to 350MB/s
  • Low CPU load — image preprocessing using FPGA such as found in the Basler ace USB 3.0 conserves software resources for the actual image processing
  • Plug & Play compatibility means quick location of the camera by the software and flexible deployment when switching host computers
  • Low latency and jitter 
  • Standardized, tested accessories — from adapter cards to cables and hubs
  • Standardized communication between camera and software on a protocol and event basis
  • Standardized control of cameras via Genicam 2.0

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