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Camera interfaces on Jetson TK1

The Jetson TK1 board provides several different interfaces that allow camera input:

  • USB 3.0 port (supports many USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 webcams). Additional USB 3.0 ports can be added through mini-PCIe, eg: mini-PCIe (untested).
  • USB 2.0 port (through a micro-B to female USB-A adapter, that is sometimes included with Jetson TK1).
  • Gigabit Ethernet port. Additional Gigabit or Dual-Gigabit Ethernet ports can be added through mini-PCIE, eg: mini-PCIe (untested).
  • CSI-2 MIPI dual camera ports (one 4-lane camera port and one 1-lane camera port) through the GPIO expansion port.
  • Firewire (available through mini-PCIe), eg: mini-PCIe (untested).
  • Analog video capture cards, available through mini-PCIe (eg: mini-PCIe (untested)), USB 3.0 (eg: USB 3.0 (untested)), or USB 2.0 (eg: USB 2.0 (untested)).

It is also possible to use Multiple cameras, Stereo cameras, or Specialized camera sensors as discussed further below.

Many of these cameras can be accessed by following the Camera access section, also further bellow.

Interface details

USB 2.0

USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) is the most common & cheapest method for camera input, since USB 2.0 webcams range from $5 - $200. However, USB 2.0 is the slowest of the possible camera interfaces, so it usually only supports upto 720p 30fps (eg: Logitech C310 $45 (untested)), (except for the few USB 2.0 cameras supporting 1080p video compression, such as Logitech C910 (untested)). Logitech C910 is known to work on Jetson TK1 in uncompressed modes but has not been tested in 1080p compressed mode.

Typically, webcams are successfully giving the same frame-rates & resolutions on Jetson TK1 as on an x86 desktop running Linux (eg: 640x480 @ 30 FPS, 960x720 @ 15 FPS, and 1920x1080 @ 15 FPS). Note that many webcams will run slower if there is low lighting, so for example, it might be 30 FPS when pointed at a bright light but only 10 FPS when pointed at a shadow.

Disabling USB auto-suspend

Some USB devices & cameras have problems on Jetson TK1 due to automatic suspending of inactive USB ports in L4T 19.2 OS to save power. So you might need to disable USB auto-suspend mode. This will disable it temporarily until you reboot:

sudo bash -c 'echo -1 > /sys/module/usbcore/parameters/autosuspend'

To automatically disable USB auto-suspend on bootup, follow the instructions to Run a command automatically on bootup.

Or edit kernel parameters in /boot/extlinux/extlinux.conf to add usbcore.autosuspend=-1. (usbcore is built in the kernel so modprobe method would not work.)

USB 2.0 webcams known to be working

USB 2.0 webcams with known problems

Note: If a webcam or video capture card is supported by UVC or Video4Linux (see examples) then it will probably work the same on Jetson TK1 as on a desktop, but there is a possibility that it requires the firmware to be copied to your "/lib/firmware" folder or potentially even compiling & flashing your own custom Linux kernel with appropriate drivers enabled.

USB 3.0

USB 3.0 (5 Gbps "SuperSpeed") on the full-sized USB port (J1C2 connector) has enough bandwidth to allow sending uncompressed 1080p video streams. But USB 3.0 hasn't reached the mass consumer market like USB 2.0 has, so USB 3.0 cameras are mostly still limited to expensive professional-grade cameras. eg: PointGrey Flea3 1080p @ 60 FPS (working!) or e-Con See3CAM_80 1080p @ 30 FPS (working!) or Ximea MQ003CG-CM 480p @ 500 FPS (not tested).

Enabling support for USB 3.0 on the full-sized USB port

Note that early versions of Linux4Tegra didn't come with USB 3.0 support enabled, and thus you might need to enable USB 3.0 support and re-flash your whole L4T system. According to the L4T R19.2 Release Notes, you should modify the odmdata settings (in "pm375_release_armhf/Linux_for_Tegra/jetson-tk1.conf") to enable USB 3.0:

# Use ODMDATA=0x6009C000 for USB 2.0 operation or for use as a root device.
# Use ODMDATA=0x6209C000 for USB 3.0 operation. Requires firmware loaded from userspace or initial ramdisk.

Then flash your L4T system and reboot.

Enabling USB 3.0 support on L4T 21.2 is easier. You only have to change one parameter in:






and reboot.

USB 3.0 webcams known to be working

See3CAM_80 USB 3.0 1080p Camera

e-con Systems have tested many of their USB 3.0 cameras with Jetson TK1. They require flashing a custom Linux kernel that has the CONFIG_HIDRAW setting enabled, by following their tutorial, or using the The Grinch kernel by Korneliusz Jarzębski.

  • e-Con See3CAM_80 (~$90) was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1920x1080 @ 30 FPS (uncompressed) (see video) as well as other settings. This camera board has good Linux support and contains an 8 Mega-Pixel MIPI camera with auto-focus ability and an onboard ISP including 10 GPIOs that can potentially be used for other purposes besides flash & camera activation.
  • e-Con See3CAMCU50 was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1920x1080 @ 30 FPS (uncompressed), 2592x1944 @ 15 FPS (MJPG compressed), 1280x720 @ 60 FPS (MJPG compressed), as well as other settings.
  • e-Con See3CAM_12CUNIR (low-light & near-Infrared camera) was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1280x720 @ 55 FPS (uncompressed 16-bit grayscale), as well as other settings.
  • e-Con See3CAM_11CUG was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1280x720 @ 30 FPS (uncompressed 16-bit grayscale), 2592x1944 @ 15 FPS (MJPG compressed), as well as other settings.
  • e-Con See3CAM_10CUG_C was tested on Jetson TK1 with 640x480 @ 45 FPS (uncompressed RAW Bayer color), as well as other settings.
  • e-Con See3CAM_10CUG_M (global shutter camera) was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1280x720 @ 60 FPS (uncompressed grayscale), as well as other settings.
  • e-Con See3CAM_10CUG_M was tested on Jetson TK1 with 1280x960 @ 45 FPS (uncompressed), as well as other settings.

PointGrey USB 3.0 camera with standard lens mount

Several PointGrey USB 3.0 cameras with CS-mount lens and Global Shutter have been tested as working on Jetson TK1:

Setup steps for the PointGrey Flea3 camera to work on Jetson TK1:




IDS uEye cameras

  • UI-3241LE tested on L4T 21.3, can capture at full frame rate and resolution (1280x1024, 60fps, 8bit mono) through native USB3 port. Experienced very poor performance when connected through this mini-PCIe USB3 adapter, (see forum).

Gigabit Ethernet

TRENDnet IP camera for just $120

"IP Cameras" are fairly easy to find and are a good option for single or multiple cameras. Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) has enough bandwidth for uncompressed 1080p video streams. eg: GigE cameras (untested) or regular IP network cameras. Nico notes that older GigE cameras typically do not apply any compression, since compression is a feature of the newer GigE Vision 2 standard, and thus most industrial GigE cameras for computer vision don't have compression and send Bayer images instead. IP cameras typically have M-JPEG compression as well as a video streaming server such as by providing a URL where M-JPEG or JPEG frames are available.

Gigabit network cameras known to be working


DFK31BF03 Firewire camera

Firewire has been used for professional video capture for a long time, since Firewire cameras do a lot of both the compression and the data transmission in hardware and thus don't put nearly as much stress on the host CPU compared to USB.


13MP MIPI CSI-2 Camera Module for Jetson TK1

CSI-2 MIPI is the method used for smartphone cameras and is the most efficient method for camera input, since the cameras are tiny (just a few millimeters in size!) and the images can be processed directly by the ISP rather than needing to be stored into the computer's DRAM first before processing. However using a raw CSI MIPI camera sensor directly requires much more work than using a USB, Ethernet or Firewire camera. If you are designing your own custom embedded product for mass-production then CSI MIPI is the recommended camera solution. Luckily, for hobbyists & DIY there are now some MIPI CSI camera modules starting to appear for Jetson TK1, that are fairly plug & play.

MIPI CSI-2 sensors known to be working

  • e-con Systems e-CAM40_CUTK1: a 4 Mega Pixel 4-lane MIPI CSI-2 RGB IR Camera Module (eg: VGA @ 330FPS or 4MP @ 40FPS). It is made specifically for Tegra K1 / Jetson TK1, so it can just be plugged straight into a Jetson TK1 for easy testing, and allows standard S-mount lenses to be attached. Watch OV4682 camera module introduction video:
  • e-con Systems e-CAM80_MI8825_MOD: an 8 Mega Pixel MIPI CSI-2 sensor (eg: 720p @ 55FPS or 8MP @ 11FPS) has been tested on the Jetson TK1 but needs a custom connector. This article shows a demonstration of the module streaming uncompressed YUV2.
  • e-con Systems e-CAM130_CUTK1: a 13 Mega Pixel 4-lane MIPI CSI-2 Camera Module (eg: VGA @ 90FPS or 13MP @ 14FPS). It is made specifically for Tegra K1 / Jetson TK1, so it can just be plugged straight into a Jetson TK1 for easy testing, and allows standard S-mount lenses to be attached.
  • full function expansion board: a full function expansion board designe by, have tested using the OV5640 module.

Building your own custom MIPI CSI-2 camera module

Some embedded systems engineers may wish to design their own MIPI CSI-2 camera boards. This is not an easy task, but it is possible by using the information shown in the Tegra K1 Embedded Platform Design Guide (Chapter 3.6: Video Input Interfaces) and taking care of the following guidelines:

  1. GPIO/Pinmux selection, take care of the same power rail level and on/off power domain in different use case
  2. Take care of the FPC and connector quality
  3. EMI isolation from the nearby source
  4. Suggest independent LDO source for sensitive rails
  5. Check the I2C speed of the clients on the same I2C bus, which impact the camera response time

Multiple Cameras

There are several ways to handle multiple cameras on Jetson TK1 at the same time:

  • Ethernet: multiple IP cameras on a network (eg: several TRENDnet Internet Cameras (untested) at $118 each). Theoretically you could have 6 x FullHD 1080p 30fps cameras using 3 x Gigabit Ethernet ports on Jetson TK1 (discussed on the forum)!
  • CSI MIPI: 2 cameras (eg: a front camera and a rear camera (untested)).

Stereo Cameras

DUO Stereo Camera


  • Code Laboratories: (DUO MLX) (Known to be working / Manufacturer Supported on Jetson TK1. See DUO3D on Jetson).
  • Stereolabs: (Zed) for $449. USB 3.0 stereo camera that includes depth from stereo using a CUDA-capable GPU. Known to be working correctly on Jetson TK1.
  • IDS: (N10) (untested).
  • Leopard Imaging: (LI-USB30) (untested).


(Would require a Firewire mini-PCIe card).

Specialized camera sensors

  • Time-Of-Flight 3D depth "RGBD" cameras (eg: Microsoft Kinect is known to work, see details below).
  • Night-vision or Thermal-imaging Infrared cameras, typically with interfaces similar to standard cameras.
  • Video frame grabbers, including a HDMI capture card discussed below.

Microsoft Kinect Structured-Light 3D Depth camera

MS Kinect 3D camera

Several users (eg: HellMood) have been able to use a Kinect camera on Jetson TK1, after disabling the USB auto-suspend (mentioned above).

Then you need to follow the Kinect Manual Installation Guide rather than the many x86 based guides, since the Tegra CPU uses ARM architecture.

User HellMood also posted a video showing the new Kinect camera working on Jetson TK1: MoodShades Preview.

Asus XTion Pro Live RGB-D Sensor using OpenNI2 library

Asus Xtion Pro Live

Asus XTion Pro Live is a RGB-D sensor based on the Primesense's patent (Primesense has been acquired and deleted by Apple in the end of 2013) that drives the first Microsoft Kinect. Asus Xtion sensor, differently from Microsoft Kinect, can be powered directly by USB cable not requiring an external power source.

You can find a guide to compile OpenNI2 library for Jetson TK1 and use it to interface Asus XTion Pro Live on the blog of the robotic project MyzharBot.

AVerMedia HDMI capture card

AVerMedia sell a mini-PCIe frame grabber device that allows capturing HDMI input (or DVI or VGA) and fully supports Jetson TK1. For example, it could allow processing live video from a GoPro camera. More info here.

Camera access

To see which video capture devices you have available:

ls /dev/video*

To see the supported video formats of your webcam:

sudo apt-get install luvcview
luvcview -d /dev/video0 -L

You can also use luvcview to record video from your webcam to a video file. It will open a GUI window showing the camera preview. Then along the middle of the bottom row there are 4 rectangle buttons, click the bottom-left of the 4 buttons to start/stop video recording, and the bottom-right button to quit. To record video using the default settings of your webcam:

luvcview -o out.avi

To record video using a custom resolution (of those shown when running luvcview -L above):

luvcview -o out.avi -s 640x480

Normally, guvcview can be used to adjust default camera settings, but it seems that the default guvcview is not working correctly on ARM due to a kernel change.