Design win; Cypress’s programmable SuperSpeed USB enables streaming HD video

Design win; Cypress’s programmable SuperSpeed USB enables streaming HD video

Technology News |
By Graham Prophet

The SUB2r Alpha camera uses the FX3 controller for USB 3.1 generation 1 bandwidth up to 5 Gbps, enabling it to stream uncompressed, high-definition (HD) video at both 4K at 30 frames per second (fps) and 1080p at 60 fps. FX3 allows audio captured by the camera’s onboard dual microphones or external microphones to be interlaced audio with the video stream. The controller also provides access to the camera’s output via USB or Gigabit Ethernet.


EZ-USB FX3 is positioned as the only programmable SuperSpeed USB peripheral controller. It is equipped with a highly configurable General Programmable Interface (GPIF II), which can be programmed in 8-, 16-, and 32-bit configurations. GPIF II allows FX3 to communicate directly with application processors, FPGAs, and image sensors and provides a data transfer rate at up to 400 Megabytes per second. FX3 manages the Alpha camera’s I²C configuration master for reconfiguration of the system’s FPGA over USB with remote updates. The solution adds to the flexibility of SUB2r’s camera platform, allowing users to optimize it for high quality streaming of virtual reality or video game play, motion pictures, 3D imaging, scientific research and many other applications. More information on Cypress’s EZ-USB portfolio is available at

Next page; more on the camera, & the IC…


The SUB2r Alpha camera supports an interchangeable camera board, making upgrading or changing the image sensor merely a matter of swapping boards—instead of having to buy a new camera. The wide sensor selection gives users the opportunity to choose 4K or 1080p resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR), monochromatic, or fast frames per second. Interchangeable optics using affordable M12 (s-mount) lenses offer high-quality and non-distortion with thousands of options. Dynamically controlled onboard compression allows users to control resolution, frame rate and all aspects of compression—both intra and inter frame and upload bit rate. In addition to pristine video, the camera captures synchronized audio through external and onboard dual mics, interlacing audio with the video stream. The most compelling feature of the camera is controllability. Users are given direct access to the CMOS sensors for strobe and synch functions, as well as on-chip registers. The FPGA on board is also accessible, giving developers the option of implementing their own code.


EZ-USB FX3 provides SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connectivity in virtually any system. The on-chip ARM9 CPU core with 512 kB RAM delivers 200 MIPS of computational power and is available for applications that require local data processing. Additionally, FX3 provides SPI, UART, I²C and I²S interfaces to connect to serial peripherals. FX3 provides highly flexible and integrated features that enable developers to add USB 3.0 connectivity to any system. EZ-USB FX3 is in volume production now and is available in two packages: a 121-ball BGA (10 mm x 10 mm) and a space saving 131-ball Wafer-Level Chip Scale Package (WLCSP) with dimensions of 4.7 mm x 5.1 mm.


SUB2r is a San Francisco-based startup self-funded by its founders. It is a spinoff from 2r1y, a company that developed a new methodology for high-density, high-speed 3D imaging;




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