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ZC0301 and ZC0301P Image Processor and Control Chip
Driver for Linux
- Documentation -
1. Copyright
2. Disclaimer
3. License
4. Overview and features
5. Module dependencies
6. Module loading
7. Module parameters
8. Supported devices
9. Notes for V4L2 application developers
10. Contact information
11. Credits
1. Copyright
Copyright (C) 2006-2007 by Luca Risolia <>
2. Disclaimer
This software is not developed or sponsored by Z-Star Microelectronics Corp.
Trademarks are property of their respective owner.
3. License
This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
4. Overview and features
This driver supports the video interface of the devices mounting the ZC0301 or
ZC0301P Image Processors and Control Chips.
The driver relies on the Video4Linux2 and USB core modules. It has been
designed to run properly on SMP systems as well.
The latest version of the ZC0301[P] driver can be found at the following URL:
Some of the features of the driver are:
- full compliance with the Video4Linux2 API (see also "Notes for V4L2
application developers" paragraph);
- available mmap or read/poll methods for video streaming through isochronous
data transfers;
- automatic detection of image sensor;
- video format is standard JPEG;
- dynamic driver control thanks to various module parameters (see "Module
parameters" paragraph);
- up to 64 cameras can be handled at the same time; they can be connected and
disconnected from the host many times without turning off the computer, if
the system supports hotplugging;
5. Module dependencies
For it to work properly, the driver needs kernel support for Video4Linux and
The following options of the kernel configuration file must be enabled and
corresponding modules must be compiled:
# Multimedia devices
# USB support
In addition, depending on the hardware being used, the modules below are
# USB Host Controller Drivers
The ZC0301 controller also provides a built-in microphone interface. It is
supported by the USB Audio driver thanks to the ALSA API:
# Sound
# Advanced Linux Sound Architecture
# USB devices
And finally:
# V4L USB devices
6. Module loading
To use the driver, it is necessary to load the "zc0301" module into memory
after every other module required: "videodev", "v4l2_common", "compat_ioctl32",
"usbcore" and, depending on the USB host controller you have, "ehci-hcd",
"uhci-hcd" or "ohci-hcd".
Loading can be done as shown below:
[root@localhost home]# modprobe zc0301
At this point the devices should be recognized. You can invoke "dmesg" to
analyze kernel messages and verify that the loading process has gone well:
[user@localhost home]$ dmesg
7. Module parameters
Module parameters are listed below:
Name: video_nr
Type: short array (min = 0, max = 64)
Syntax: <-1|n[,...]>
Description: Specify V4L2 minor mode number:
-1 = use next available
n = use minor number n
You can specify up to 64 cameras this way.
For example:
video_nr=-1,2,-1 would assign minor number 2 to the second
registered camera and use auto for the first one and for every
other camera.
Default: -1
Name: force_munmap
Type: bool array (min = 0, max = 64)
Syntax: <0|1[,...]>
Description: Force the application to unmap previously mapped buffer memory
before calling any VIDIOC_S_CROP or VIDIOC_S_FMT ioctl's. Not
all the applications support this feature. This parameter is
specific for each detected camera.
0 = do not force memory unmapping
1 = force memory unmapping (save memory)
Default: 0
Name: frame_timeout
Type: uint array (min = 0, max = 64)
Syntax: <n[,...]>
Description: Timeout for a video frame in seconds. This parameter is
specific for each detected camera. This parameter can be
changed at runtime thanks to the /sys filesystem interface.
Default: 2
Name: debug
Type: ushort
Syntax: <n>
Description: Debugging information level, from 0 to 3:
0 = none (use carefully)
1 = critical errors
2 = significant informations
3 = more verbose messages
Level 3 is useful for testing only, when only one device
is used at the same time. It also shows some more informations
about the hardware being detected. This module parameter can be
changed at runtime thanks to the /sys filesystem interface.
Default: 2
8. Supported devices
None of the names of the companies as well as their products will be mentioned
here. They have never collaborated with the author, so no advertising.
From the point of view of a driver, what unambiguously identify a device are
its vendor and product USB identifiers. Below is a list of known identifiers of
devices mounting the ZC0301 Image Processor and Control Chips:
Vendor ID Product ID
--------- ----------
0x041e 0x4017
0x041e 0x401c
0x041e 0x401e
0x041e 0x401f
0x041e 0x4022
0x041e 0x4034
0x041e 0x4035
0x041e 0x4036
0x041e 0x403a
0x0458 0x7007
0x0458 0x700c
0x0458 0x700f
0x046d 0x08ae
0x055f 0xd003
0x055f 0xd004
0x0ac8 0x0301
0x0ac8 0x301b
0x0ac8 0x303b
0x10fd 0x0128
0x10fd 0x8050
0x10fd 0x804e
The list above does not imply that all those devices work with this driver: up
until now only the ones that mount the following image sensors are supported;
kernel messages will always tell you whether this is the case:
Model Manufacturer
----- ------------
PAS202BCB PixArt Imaging, Inc.
PB-0330 Photobit Corporation
9. Notes for V4L2 application developers
This driver follows the V4L2 API specifications. In particular, it enforces two
- exactly one I/O method, either "mmap" or "read", is associated with each
file descriptor. Once it is selected, the application must close and reopen the
device to switch to the other I/O method;
- although it is not mandatory, previously mapped buffer memory should always
be unmapped before calling any "VIDIOC_S_CROP" or "VIDIOC_S_FMT" ioctl's.
The same number of buffers as before will be allocated again to match the size
of the new video frames, so you have to map the buffers again before any I/O
attempts on them.
10. Contact information
The author may be contacted by e-mail at <>.
GPG/PGP encrypted e-mail's are accepted. The GPG key ID of the author is
'FCE635A4'; the public 1024-bit key should be available at any keyserver;
the fingerprint is: '88E8 F32F 7244 68BA 3958 5D40 99DA 5D2A FCE6 35A4'.
11. Credits
- Informations about the chip internals needed to enable the I2C protocol have
been taken from the documentation of the ZC030x Video4Linux1 driver written
by Andrew Birkett <>;
- The initialization values of the ZC0301 controller connected to the PAS202BCB
and PB-0330 image sensors have been taken from the SPCA5XX driver maintained
by Michel Xhaard <>;
- Stanislav Lechev donated one camera.