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Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.Image sensors can be CMOS or CCD, the former being dominant for low-cost cameras, but CCD cameras do not necessarily outperform CMOS-based cameras in the low-price range.the sensor and the support electronics are built on a single silicon chip to save space and manufacturing costs.Most webcams feature built-in microphones to make video calling and videoconferencing more convenient. The USB video device class (UVC) specification allows inter-connectivity of webcams to computers without the need for proprietary device drivers.Typical interfaces used by articles marketed as a "webcam" are USB, Ethernet and IEEE 802.11 (denominated as IP camera). Various proprietary as well as free and open-source software is available to handle the UVC stream.
Many newer devices can produce video in multi-megapixel resolutions, and a few can run at high frame rates such as the Play Station Eye, which can produce 320×240 video at 120 frames per second.
Webcams are known for their low manufacturing cost and their high flexibility, making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony.
As webcams evolved simultaneously with display technologies, USB interface speeds and broadband internet speeds, the resolution went up from gradually 320×240, to 640×480, and some even offering 1280×720 (aka 720p) or 1920×1080 (aka 1080p) resolution.
Digital video streams are represented by huge amounts of data, burdening its transmission (from the image sensor, where the data is continuously created) and storage alike.
Most if not all cheap webcams come with built-it ASIC to do video compression in real-time.