I have owned my 12th gen framework for a month or two now, and I’m absolutely loving it.
I have a question, though. I would like to hook up 6 PlayStation 3 Eye cameras to it. These cameras have a 640x480 resolution at 60Hz. A USB2.0 controller can only handle 2 cameras at 640x480 60Hz, or 4 at 30Hz. A USB3 controller would be able to handle much more than that.
I understood from another forum post that my laptop has both a USB2 and a USB3 controller that are both attached to each of the expansion slots. Because the cameras are USB2, their signals would be handled exclusively by the USB2.0 controller.
This aligns with my experimental observations: 2 cameras can run full resolution at 60Hz, 4 at 30Hz, and 6 cameras requires me to set them to 320x240.
Is there a way to circumvent this USB “limitation”? Using a USB3 hub doesn’t make this problem go away, because that hub doesn’t do any actual processing/converting to USB3. In a desktop, a solution would be to add a PCIe expansion card. For a laptop, this might be possible by hooking up a PCIe to Thunderbolt device to the laptop (for instance, an eGPU case), and plugging a PCIe USB controller into that. This is rather expensive though, from what I have seen.
Also, besides the USB2 and USB3 capabilities of the Framework 12th gen, there has to be something separate that handles Thunderbolt, right?
Is there perhaps a way to utilize the (now certified) Thunderbolt 4 capabilities of my laptop to handle those 6 USB2 cameras at full 480p resolution and 60Hz? Something like an external USB controller that goes straight to PCIe via a Thunderbolt connection? (I read somewhere that Thunderbolt 4 has access to PCIe)
This is a confusing problem, because the bandwidth is surely there, but the connections just don’t seem to be.
I know this is a very niche problem, any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated.