VC nano Z Series Operating Manual

Hardware specifications of VC nano Z Smart Cameras

Revision: 2.0.1
Date: 2020-01-31
Copyright: 1996-2020 Vision Components GmbH Ettlingen, Germany
Author: VC Support,

|VC_nano_Z| Camera Front View

Foreword and Disclaimer

This documentation has been prepared with most possible care. However Vision Components GmbH does not take any liability for possible errors. In the interest of progress, Vision Components GmbH reserves the right to perform technical changes without further notice.

Please notify if you become aware of any errors in this manual or if a certain topic requires more detailed documentation.

This manual is intended for information of Vision Component’s customers only. Any publication of this document or parts thereof requires written permission by Vision Components GmbH.

Image symbols used in this document
Symbol Meaning
Note Sign The Light bulb highlights hints and ideas that may be helpful for a development.
Warning Sign This warning sign alerts of possible pitfalls to avoid. Please pay careful attention to sections marked with this sign.
Example Sign This is a sign for an example.


Linux, Debian, the Tux logo, Vivado, Xilinx and Zynq, ARM, Cortex, Windows XP, Total Commander, Tera Term, Motorola, HALCON, Vision Components are registered Trademarks. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Table of Contents

1   General Information

The VC nano Z Series Smart Cameras have been designed for high resolution image processing with a very small form factor. They are the ideal compromise between high performance and low system costs, and thus especially suited for high volume OEM applications. This makes them viable to use a smart camera in even more products than before.

Based on a dual-core processor ARM® Cortex®-A9 with 866 MHz and an integrated FPGA the models of the new VC Z series offer solutions at extreme high-speed in real-time.

The operating system VC Linux provides for the ideal interaction of hard- and software.

All cameras are equipped with a battery backed real time clock and come with 2 inputs and 4 outputs, with trigger input and flash trigger output, as well as an Ethernet interface. 5 different CMOS sensors (the image resolution can be changed to the ROI required) with global shutter and a resolution up to 4.2 Megapixel are available with all models.

The extremely low power consumption of only 1.7W makes this camera ideally suitable for use in mobile devices.

2   Technical Specifications

2.1   Technical Specifications VC nano Z

Technical Data
Component / Feature Specification
CMOS Sensor
VC nano Z 0010:
1/4" e2v EV76C541, monochrome version
VC nano Z 0011:
1/1.8" e2v EV76C560, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC nano Z 0015:
1/1.8" e2v EV76C570, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC nano Z 0252:
1/1.8" Sony IMX252, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC nano Z 0273:
1/2.9" Sony IMX273, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
VC nano Z 0392:
1/2.3" Sony IMX392, monochrome or color (Bayer filter) version
Active pixels
VC nano Z 0010:
736(H) x 480(V)
VC nano Z 0011:
1280(H) x 1024(V)
VC nano Z 0015:
1600(H) x 1200(V)
VC nano Z 0252:
2048(H) x 1536(V)
VC nano Z 0273:
1440(H) x 1080(V)
VC nano Z 0392:
1920(H) x 1200(V)
Pixel size
VC nano Z 0010:
4.5(H) x 4.5(V) µm
VC nano Z 0011:
5.3(H) x 5.3(V) µm
VC nano Z 0015:
4.5(H) x 4.5(V) µm
VC nano Z 0252:
3.45(H) x 3.45(V) µm
VC nano Z 0273:
3.45(H) x 3.45(V) µm
VC nano Z 0392:
3.45(H) x 3.45(V) µm
Active sensor size
VC nano Z 0010:
3.4(H) x 2.2(V) mm
VC nano Z 0011:
6.8(H) x 5.5(V) mm
VC nano Z 0015:
7.2(H) x 5.4(V) mm
VC nano Z 0252:
7.1(H) x 5.3(V) mm
VC nano Z 0273:
5.0(H) x 3.7(V) mm
VC nano Z 0392:
6.6(H) x 4.1(V) mm
High-speed shutter
VC nano Z 0010, 0011, 0015:
15 µs
VC nano Z 0252, 0273, 0392:
1 µs
Low-speed shutter
VC nano Z 0010, 0011, 0015:
up to 1 sec. adjustable integration time
VC nano Z 0252, 0273, 0392:
up to 2 sec. adjustable integration time
Integration Global shutter
Picture taking

program-controlled or external high speed trigger, jitterfree acquisition

VC nano Z 0010:
full-frame 134 frames per second
VC nano Z 0011:
full-frame 63 frames per second
VC nano Z 0015:
full-frame 55 frames per second
VC nano Z 0252:
full-frame 88 frames per second
VC nano Z 0273:
full-frame 181 frames per second
VC nano Z 0392:
full-frame 118 frames per second
A/D conversion 118.75 MHz / 10 bit, only the 8 most significant bits used for grey values
Input LUT yes
Image Display Via 100 Mbit Ethernet onto PC
Processor Dual-Core ARM® Cortex®-A9 with 866MHz and integrated FPGA
Flash EPROM 16 GB flash memory (nonvolatile)
Process interface 2 inputs / 4 outputs, outputs 4x400 mA
Trigger 1 picture trigger input, 1 flash trigger output, 24V
Ethernet interface 100 Mbit
Serial interface Not available
CE certification CE Certification from Vision Components
Storage Conditions Temperature: -20 to +60 deg C, Max. humidity: 90%, non condensing.
Operating Conditions Temperature: 0 to +50 deg C, Max. humidity: 80%, non condensing.
Power Supply 12-24V DC, max. 300 mA
Power Consumption approx. 2.4W

The following diagram shows the maximum reachable (with the shortest shutter time) framerate according to the number of captured lines for the VC nano Z 0010, the VC nano Z 0011, the VC nano Z 0015, the VC nano Z 0252 and the VC nano Z 0273:


Frames per second over number of lines

The following table gives some example values.

Example Framerates
VC nano Z 0010 VC nano Z 0011 VC nano Z 0015 VC nano Z 0252 VC nano Z 0273
Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS) Resolution Max. framerate (FPS)
            2048 x 1536 88    
        1600 x 1200 55        
                1440 x 1080 181
    1280 x 1024 63 1600 x 1024 63 2048 x 1024 134 1440 x 1024 191
    1280 x 768 83 1600 x 768 84 2048 x 768 177 1440 x 768 252
    1280 x 640 98 1600 x 640 101 2048 x 640 210 1440 x 640 300
736 x 480 134 1280 x 512 121 1600 x 512 125 2048 x 512 260 1440 x 512 370
736 x 384 167 1280 x 384 158 1600 x 384 164 2048 x 384 338 1440 x 384 483
736 x 256 246 1280 x 256 228 1600 x 256 240 2048 x 256 485 1440 x 256 695
736 x 192 323 1280 x 192 292 1600 x 192 312 2048 x 192 619 1440 x 192 890
736 x 128 470 1280 x 128 406 1600 x 128 447 2048 x 128 856 1440 x 128 1227
736 x 64 861 1280 x 64 669 1600 x 64 788 2048 x 64 1382 1440 x 64 1974
736 x 32 1473 1280 x 32 986 1600 x 32 1272 2048 x 32 1903 1440 x 32 2843
736 x 16 2288 1280 x 16 1295 1600 x 16 1836 2048 x 16 2340 1440 x 16 3112
736 x 8 3158 1280 x 8 1535 1600 x 8 2359 2048 x 8 2598 1440 x 8 3215
736 x 4 3901 1280 x 4 1691 1600 x 4 2765 2048 x 4 2797 1440 x 4 3267
736 x 2 4422 1280 x 2 1783 1600 x 2 3015 2048 x 2 N/A 1440 x 2 N/A
736 x 1 4925 1280 x 1 1832 1600 x 1 3238 2048 x 1 N/A 1440 x 1 N/A


Note Sign

3   Camera Interfaces


Connector Positions

The VC nano Z Series cameras incorporate the following connector interfaces:

The pin assignments, electrical specifications as well as available accessories are shown for each interface connector in the following sections.

3.1   LAN / Ethernet Interface

3.1.1   Pin Assignments LAN / Ethernet Interface

Ethernet Socket Pin Assignment
Camera Socket Pin at Camera Signal 20m Patch Cable Wire 10m Patch Cable Wire Pin at PC
image11 2 Tx+ yellow white/pink 1
1 Tx- orange pink 2
6 Rx+ white/green white/green 3
5 Rx- green green 6
3 NC
4 NC


The colors are for cables sold by us. Refer to the Accessories section for a list of available cables with order numbers.

3.2   Power Supply, I/O interface and trigger interface

This connector includes the camera Power Supply, the digital PLC IOs and the trigger interface.

3.2.1   Pin assignments Power Supply and IO Interface

Power Supply/IO Interface Pin Assignment
Camera Socket Pin Signal Cable Colors
image13 1 12-24V PLC red
2 12-24V IN Cam red / blue
3 GND IN com. black.
4 INP 1 pink
5 OUT 3 yellow
6 OUT 2 green
7 OUT 1 brown
8 OUT 0 white
9 12-24V PLC grey / pink
10 TrigOut purple
11 TrigIn blue
12 INP 0 grey

3.2.2   Electrical specifications Camera Power Supply


Warning Sign With the VC nano Z Series cameras the PLC supply contacts are internally connected with the camera power supply pin 2. In this case pin 1 and 9 require the same voltage level as the camera power supply pin 2. Refer to section 4.2.3 for details on the different PLC interface features.

Voltage/Current Overview
What How much
Nominal Voltage 12 – 24 V
Absolute Voltage Limits 9 V - 30 V
Minimum nominal Operating voltage and corresponding current 12V, 160 mA
Maximum nominal Operating voltage and corresponding current 24V, 90 mA
Nominal Power Consumption 2.2W

In general the camera power supply is regulated in the camera, so an unregulated power source is sufficient. However the absolute voltage levels specified above should never be exceeded.

In case of unstable power supply (voltage spikes or power interruptions) it is recommended to back up the power supply by a capacitor or a battery large enough to prevent power interruptions.

It is recommended to switch on the low voltage supply (12 to 24V) when booting the camera. Some 110/ 220V power supplies increase the output voltage too slow or drop the voltage under load at startup which might cause the camera not to boot properly! A power supply able to supply a much higher than nominal boot current for a few milliseconds may be an alternative approach.

3.2.3   Electrical Specifications digital PLC IO / trigger Interface


Note Sign

Activation of trigger output is done by assigning the right GPIO via the command line tool named vcio, see GPIOs and Trigger Assignment for more information.

The VC nano Z Series Smart Cameras feature digital inputs and outputs that allow e.g. direct input of light barriers signals or the control of pneumatic valves, as well as a trigger input and output.

Please observe the current and voltage ratings specified in the following sections.

Electrical Specifications
Separation of PLC/trigger output voltage Warning Sign PLC outputs supply not separated from power supply
PLC/trigger Input Voltage Identical with power supply voltage
PLC/trigger Input Current (max) 1.0 mA at 12V to 2.0mA @ 24V
PLC/trigger Output Voltage Identical with power supply Voltage — internally connected
PLC/trigger Output Current (max) 4 x 400 mA Max total of all outputs: 1A
Max Current for 1 Power / PLC connector pin 500 mA
Power failure detection


Warning Sign When using the PLC/trigger outputs connect all camera supply and PLC supply pins (pin 1, pin 2 and pin 9) in order to limit the connector pin current.

The maximum combined current of all outputs should not exceed 1 A.   Connection of PLC/trigger inputs VC nano Z Series

Connection of Trigger Inputs

  • 2 digital inputs
  • 1 trigger input
  • Operating Voltage 12 to 24 V
  • Threshold Voltage 8V (input high for signals greater 8V)
  • Maximum Voltage: 30V
  • Reverse voltage protection
  • Input Current 2mA @ 24V
  • Signal debouncing hardware: none   Connection of PLC/trigger outputs VC nano Z Series

Connection of Trigger Outputs

  • 4 digital outputs
  • 1 trigger output
  • Operating Voltage 12 to 24 V
  • current per output: 400 mA (total current all outputs < 1000 mA)
  • Connect 12-24 V PLC and camera power supply pins 1, 2 and 9.
  • bit = 1 output will switch positive voltage
  • short-circuit and over- temperature protection (2A)

The outputs are protected with an Infineon BSP742R power switch (

3.2.4   Available Accessories / Cables for Power Supply and IO Interface


Equipped on one end with a Hirose plug jack, length 5m, 10m or 25m

Refer to section  5.1 for a list of available cables with order numbers.

3.3   VC nano Z Series LED

The VC nano Z Smart Cameras feature 8 LEDs providing status information on power supply, PLC I/Os and trigger input.


4   Software Interfaces

4.1   GPIOs

Connector Assignment of GPIOs
GPIO Nr. Pin Designator Usability Remark
0 OUT 0 Output
1 OUT 1 Output
2 OUT 2 Output
3 OUT 3 Output
10 INP 0 Input
11 INP 1 Input
31(Out) TrigOut Output
31(In ) TrigIn Input Optically isolated

They can be accessed over the linux standard way via /sys/class/gpio, see The GPIO numbers are relative to the start number of the gpiochip labelled with '/amba@0/axi-gpio0@41200000', here: /sys/class/gpio/gpiochip224.

4.2   Trigger Assignment

To choose the sensor input/output trigger signals, the corresponding GPIO Nr. must be determined and assigned by the supporting program named vcio. More information can be found at the help of the program, if you run it with no command line parameter, it will show how to do it. Sample usage instructions are provided here, but always refer to the instructions of your version:

VCIO v.1.2.3.- VCLinux Camera I/O Configuration and Connection Setup.

Usage: vcio [-s sen] [-i gpioNr] [-n] [-o gpioField] [-d gpioField] [-t time]

-s Sensor to be configured, default value: 0.
-i GPIO Nr. to be used as external sensor trigger input (TRGSRC_EXT)
-n Negates trigger input signal
-o Bitfield of GPIOs which are coupled with sensor trigger output signal. The bit of GPIO Nr. X is coupled, if Bit X is set to 1, for example, For coupling GPIO Nr. 0, 3 and 31 (TrigOut) provide the Bitfield as Decimal Value: 2^0+2^3+2^31=2147483657, as Hex Value: 0x80000009, or as Binary Value: 0b10000000000000000000000000001001.
-d The direction of the GPIOs as bitfield (see -o switch); If the GPIO Nr. X should be configured as output, set bit X to 1, and if it should be an input, set bit X to 0.
-t Time used to debounce all input sources, default value: 10000. Time Unit is in FPGA Cycles. The FPGA clock frequency can be acquired by reading out the value of capt->sen->d.fpgaClkHz, e.g. 153846161 Hz. The default debouncing time for that example is then given by 10000 cycles / 153846161 Hz = 0.000065 s = 65 us.

Settings done cannot be read out. Different camera models may have different vcio parameters.


Example Sign If an additional flash device is connected to Pin OUT 1, the 'Connector Assignment of GPIOs' table shows the corresponding GPIO Nr.: 1. To link the gpio Nr. 1 to the sensor trigger signal, the 'vcio' program must make the gpio Nr. 1 an output gpio (-d) and couple it to the sensor trigger signal (-o), for example, the following call uses the TrigOut pin (gpio Nr. 31) and the OUT 1 pin (gpio Nr. 1) for simultaneous flash output, the external input trigger is coming from gpio Nr. 10, which is, by table, the hardware pin of INP 0:

vcio -d 0b10000000000000000000000000000010 -o 0x80000002 -i 10

One can further switch flash outputs for each capture (see the libvclinux documentation: VCFlashSelector); therefore the corresponding gpios must be set as output (-d), but they should not be coupled with the trigger signal (-o), since this given value would be ORed with the flash selector settings, and the flash would always trigger.


Note Sign

To actually use the trigger input source (assigned by the vcio program) you have to select it at your source code in your image capture struct by setting the capture trigger input source to TRGSRC_EXT (instead of TRGSRC_IMM for immediate trigger); refer to the libvclinux image acquisition documentation! You may also invert the trigger signal first, see Output Trigger Signal Inversion

Default Trigger Assignment
GPIO Nr. Pin Designator Assignment
31(Out) TrigOut Trigger Output
31(In ) TrigIn Trigger Input

4.2.1   Output Trigger Signal Inversion

One can invert the value of the trigger output signal by writing a 1 onto the corresponding GPIO nr, for example via the program 'vcgpio'. To get usage instruction for the program vcgpio run it without any parameters. The figure shows how it is applied.


VC nano Z I/O Circuit

5   Accessories

5.1   Camera order numbers

The VC nano Z Series Smart Cameras support by default CS-mount lenses, but standard delivery also includes a 5 mm adjustment ring for C-mount lenses.

VC nano Z Cameras
Order Number Product / Service description
VK002247 VC nano Z 0010 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002114 VC nano Z 0011 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002130 VC nano Z 0011 Smart Camera, Bayer sensor
VK002183 VC nano Z 0015 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK002186 VC nano Z 0015 Smart Camera, Bayer sensor
VK003120 VC nano Z 0252 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK003155 VC nano Z 0252 Smart Camera, Bayer sensor
VK000465 VC nano Z 0273 Smart Camera, b/w sensor
VK003164 VC nano Z 0392 Smart Camera, b/w sensor

Further models will be offered.

5.2   Order numbers of all available VC nano Z Series Accessories

Ethernet Cables
Article Description Order Number Camera Connector Second Connector
5m LAN-C6-Cable VK000149 HRS connector female 6 pin image25 RJ45 image26
10m LAN-C6-Cable VK000150 HRS connector female 6 pin RJ45
25m LAN-C6-Cable VK000151 HRS connector female 6 pin RJ45
Ethernet Cross Module VK000156 RJ45 image27 RJ45 female socket
Power Supply and IO Interface Cables
Article Description Order Number Camera Connector Second Connector
5m Power / PLC-Cable C6 VK000008 HRS female 12 pin image30 without connector image31
10m Power / PLC-Cable C6 VK000114 HRS female 12 pin without connector
25m Power / PLC-Cable C6 VK000161 HRS female 12 pin without connector
Further Accessories
Article Description Order Number Camera Connector
Power Adapter C6 24V, with 12 pins conn. 3m VK000119 HRS connector female 12 pin image32
Power adapter for rail mounting, Input Voltage 100 - 240VAC 50/60 Hz, Output Voltage DC 24V +/-5%, max. 300 mA (7.5 W), Equipped with connecting clamps for AC input and 24V output, CE cert. VK000036 image33

Please also refer to the VC website **** for an up to date list of accessories.

6   Appendix A: Block diagram VC nano Z Series

The image is formed by a 1.3 megapixel CMOS sensor (VC nano Z 0011). The image is then stored in the DDR3-SDRAM memory, which has been increased to 512 MB.

The VC nano Z Series cameras do not have a direct video output. However if monitoring of the camera image is required, this can be done by transferring via Fast Ethernet port to PC and display on screen.

Block diagram VC nano Z Series:

Block diagram |VC_nano_Z| Series

7   Appendix B: Dimensions VC nano Z Series


Warning Sign Maximal torque for M6 screws: 10 Nm.


Tolerances: All circuit board dimensions: +/- 0.1