Browse Prior Art Database

Connecting a USB Camera to a LAN

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123843D
Original Publication Date: 1999-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 85K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Burke, T: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Problem Solved By This Invention: The Universal Serial Bus (USB) was invented to provide a low cost and high speed replacement to the aging serial and parallel connections currently used in Personal Computers (PCs). This has led to a number of devices (such as video cameras) that have been developed to take advantage of USB. These USB cameras would be an excellent method for providing low cost security cameras throughout an office environment with the existing Local Area Network (LAN) providing the backbone for the camera connections. The problem with this connection scheme is that a PC is needed at every camera point to transfer the video signal from the USB to the LAN via an ethernet connection. The addition of a PC at every camera adds enough cost to make this system cost prohibitive. What is needed is a way to inexpensively connect the USB cameras directly to the LAN.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Connecting a USB Camera to a LAN

   Problem Solved By This Invention:

   The Universal Serial Bus (USB) was invented to provide
a low cost and high speed replacement to the aging serial and
parallel connections currently used in Personal Computers (PCs).
This has led to a number of devices (such as video cameras) that have
been developed to take advantage of USB.  These USB cameras would be
an excellent method for providing low cost security cameras
throughout an office environment with the existing Local Area Network
(LAN) providing the backbone for the camera connections.  The problem
with this connection scheme is that a PC is needed at every camera
point to transfer the video signal from the USB to the LAN via an
ethernet connection.  The addition of a PC at every camera adds
enough cost to make this system cost prohibitive.  What is needed is
a way to inexpensively connect the USB cameras directly to the LAN.

   Description of Invention:

   This new invention connects a USB camera directly to a LAN
so that the resulting video image may be displayed and recorded by a
remote PC.

   The system works by converting USB video data directly
into ethernet packets.  The computer system receiving the ethernet
packets can easily interpret the ethernet data packets and display
the video signal data.

   The Physical Layer can be an ICS 1890 with a data
buffer, some control logic and a digital-to-analog and an
analog-to-digital converter.  It is responsible for translating the
digital signals from the Media Independent Interface (MII) into
analog ethernet signals that are sent out on the LAN.

   The Digital Signal Processor (DSP) unit can be one of many
commonly available devices from the various DSP vendors.  The main
purpose of this device is to convert the USB video signals into MII
signals.  The DSP must also initialize the USB camera and tell it
when to start and stop sending video signals.  These functions are
performed according to the following block diagram.

   The ROM code consists of four functional blocks  The first
functional block is the Initialization code which is responsible for
starting th...