USB 3.0 for Machine Vision Applications

Posted on 05/15/2015 , Case Studies

  • USB 3.0 for Machine Vision Applications

Popular and reliable USB technology has seen steady progress in terms of quality and data transfer rates since its creation in the mid-1990s. The latest USB 3.0 – as illustrated in table 1.1 – shows a huge improvement on USB 2.0 and promises that USB technology will never become a bottleneck for data transfer.

USB TypeSpeedMaximum cable length
USB 1.0Low Speed 1.5 Mbits/s9.8 ft | 3.0m
USB 1.1Full Speed 12 Mbits/s (1.5 MB/s)9.8 ft | 3.0m
USB 2.0High Speed 480 Mbits/s (60 MB/s)16.4 ft | 5.0m
USB 3.0SuperSpeed 5.0 Gbits/s (625 MB/s)9.8 ft | 3.0 m


USB 3.0 provides a 5-Gbps bandwidth that enables high-resolution, high frame-rate imaging in real time without the need for compression. That is why USB 3.0 is becoming increasingly popular in many industries notably Machine Vision.

USB3 Vision Cameras offer a desirable combination of simplicity, affordability and high throughput compared with other Machine Vision camera technologies. There is, however, a massive drawback with USB 3.0 connectivity; its maximum cable length is limited to 3 metres. Most often the Machine Vision applications require greater distances between host computer and camera.

Icron Technologies’ USB 3.0 Spectra™ extender solutions supply the missing part of the puzzle. Spectra 3001-15 and Spectra 3022 can extend USB 3.0 signals up to 15 and 100 metres respectively. Both solutions showcase Icron’s golden standard ExtremeUSB®;

• Transparent USB extension

• True plug-and-play; no software drivers required

• Compatible with all major operating systems including Windows,
   Mac OS X, and Linux



Spectra 3001-15

Award winning USB 3.0 Spectra™ 3001-15 offers a rugged single-port super speed copper extension cable up to 15m. This reliable bus-powered active cable supports USB 3.0 5Gbps throughputs and provides 5V/900mA without the need for an external power source.




USB 3.0 Spectra 3022

The fast-blazing Spectra 3022 provides a two-port USB 3.0 superspeed extension solution, allowing USB 3.0 connections at up to 5Gbps over 100m/330ft of multimode fibre optic cable. The Spectra 3022 features two locking USB 3.0 ports delivering 900mA power to each port. This makes the extender an ideal solution for USB3 Vision camera applications.




At we offer comprehensive technical support around Icron solutions. So please do not hesitate to contact our technical sales team at to discuss your application.