I'm looking to purchase a webcam (or several) for live streaming since I'm stuck in my house for the indefinite future because of the coronavirus. However anything halfway decent is completely sold out right now because hoarders are buying all the stock and reselling it at 2-3x the price.

I've been trying to figure out if it's feasible to buy one of those MIPI cameras that people use with Raspberry Pi's and turn it into a USB webcam that can use standard UVC webcam drivers. https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/camera-module-v2/ I imagine that I would need some sort of board that acts as a bridge between MIPI and USB. I would prefer to buy something off the shelf, like an eval board or some sort of breakout that someone has designed, rather than build my own.

Cypress has a line of chips that act as a bridge between MIPI and USB 3.0, but the eval board is $250, so that makes it more expensive than just buying an over priced webcam, so it's not really worth it.
https://www.cypress.com/products/ez-usb-cx3-programmable-mipi-csi-2-usb-30-camera-controller https://www.e-consystems.com/CX3-Reference-Design-Kit.asp

I found a company called Arducam that sells MIPI cameras and associated products, and they have several boards that convert MIPI data to USB data, but it doesn't look like they are UVC compliant, so I'm not sure if that would work with the video software I plan on using. https://www.arducam.com/product-category/usb-camera/

Does anyone have any other suggestions?


1 Answer 1


One can now make a USB Video Class device (UVC) using a Linux single-board-computer, as long as it supports acting as a USB peripheral (USB OTG).

This is achieved by using the USB Gadget UVC driver in the Linux kernel. This will create a virtual Video4Linux (V4L), which one can write video to, and it will be sent over USB. There exists a userspace application called uvc-gadget, which has a commandline tool which forwards video like this.

There is a tutorial on the Raspberry PI website that show how to put it all together: Plug and Play Raspberry PI USB webcam.


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