Serial camera module L1 and L2 'mtkvision MV500NK 1227022000' chip datasheet

Hi !

Is there anybody who has and ready to share the full datasheet / interface description of Serial camera module L1 and L2 ‘mtkvision MV500NK 1227022000’ chip ?

1/ the info coming from ‘Architect’:
just a very very abridged / short overview version of real capabilities of MV500N chip.

2., It’ seems like to be the MV500N chip is a VIMICRO VC0703 or VS0706 based or combatible chip.

3., I need mtkvision MV500N full description because of:
-the gadgeteer codeplex (SerCam) version of really limited (max. UART speed 115200 bps means apprx. 10 kBytes/sec, means 1-3 Frames/second): if somebody need we made a full performance test of Serial camera L1 (with different compression ratios 0-255 setting, different sizes: VGA, QVGA, QQVGA) I ready to share it.
Generally speaking time needed for only one frame (picture) around 200 - 1700 msec!! (depends on size, quality factor, etc.):
-I would like to know more about the full capabilities of MV500N chip: e.g. is there high-speed UART (e.g. 921600 bps) or SPI inteface (24 Mbit/s = 3 MBytes / sec).
The old VC0706 chip can handle UART, HS-UART and SPI as well… What about MV500N ?
-Is ROI available for Serial Camera L1 (MV500N) ?, e.g. with the smallest size -160x120 pixels with minimum quality jpeg (compression ratio=255) the jpeg file size around 2000 bytes (around 200 ms needed to get this file from camera UART)-, the frame per second is too low (apprx. 3 FPS). We need more fps, e.g. 10-15 fps even with smaller ‘cropped’ size of picture (with region of interest)

thanks in advance,

The driver source code is all we have available.

By the way, we tried to get more than 115200 but it was not possible.

@ Gus - Dear Gus, our company is a design and manufacturing company as well (should be similar as yours): it makes no sense (I mean I can’t imagine / simply impossible) no to know (well documented with detailed datasheets, errata’s, workarounds) every piece of part of our any PCB design.
E.g. At our company if we see any of in-house designed PCBs we have full data sheets of every components (doesn’t matter if it is a 1208 SMD 1k resistor or a Xilinx Spartan FPGA or a LiPo battery or … ).
Our policy is so easy: we never use a part / component without:
-trusted supplier/manufacturer (the very first factor that a certain component -or a replacement- must be available in next few years as well, it very important for a special ICs)
-a datasheets must be available (e.g. something like that:
We never accept as a data sheet.

Dear Gus and GHI !
let me put a positive criticism: companies like ours expect documentation, data sheets similar that coming from e.g.: NXP, Microchip, Xilinx …
(I’m sure you know what I’m talking about)
When we speaking about quality product with same level of customer support it not possible to accept such a kind of answers:
-‘please, use google’,
-‘it’s open source’
-‘let’s ask the community…’
-‘we do not have it’.
-“it"s not a real product, it just for fun and hobbyists”

Yes, of course: GHI should have a lot of non-public information (e.g. treated as a trade secrets, protected by 3rd party supplier NDA, etc.). It’ normal. But in this case you have to inform your customer in advance, something like that e.g.
[em]‘Serial Camera L1 Module
please, be aware:
-typical expected max. frame rate at worst picture quality (160x120 pixel, lowest quality JPG) : 3 FPS max.
-time needed for a normal quality QVGA or VGA picture: 2-3 second.
-max. UART speed: 115200 !
-not working driver (beta only) / no gadgeteer hardware documentation available,
-take this camera as an undocumented engineering sample,

If you do not take care about this customer correct information in advance: you will get a lot of frustrated customers,
finally loosing more and more customers.

What is your opinion ?
Best Regards,

Hi Peter,

my opinion is that you should discuss this as a commercial entity directly with GHI. Having a detailed conversation like this in a general forum doesn’t really help anyone win. GHI in this discussion are really simply an end-consumer of a product from someone else and have to respect the requirements and limitations the suppliers they work with place on them.

I also suspect that you have some very specific needs. Gadgeteer is designed to help companies (like yours and others) as well as home DIYers do rapid prototypes to prove concepts. Some point in the entire product design chain is going to require evaluation of what “tools” you use, and a general gadgeteer module may not be suitable (or it may, depending on how specialised your needs really are), and at that point it’d be sensible to work directly with suppliers to find devices with capabilities that meet your specific needs. So in this scenario, you may prove the concept is feasible at 3FPS and then to go further you need to work on directly interfacing a different camera device directly, and that would mean you’d do your usual due-dilligence with datasheets etc etc directly with a manufacturer or supplier rather than another end-user like you.

@ Brett - Hi Brett,
‘I also suspect that you have some very specific needs.’ : to expect 8-10 FPS at 320x240 only with a camera with 640x480 max. resolution is doesn’t seems like to be ‘very specific needs’ to me,
to get 3 FPS at 160x120 (even with lowest jpeg quality !): I have another opinion how we should describe this situation: I feel it’s not about our excessive expectations or ‘very specific needs’, -sorry to say that- it’s below the minimum.

Concerning: general forums related topic or not: good news or bad news, I hope we have to straightforward and share our experience and recommendations with the suppliers and other guys of forum as well.

All this is not about complain or hurt: it’s about the truth and community feelings and receiving the opinions of others.


All documentation we are willing to provide publicly are already on our website. Should this not be enough, please contact GHI directly to determine if you have selected the right product.

I like to clarify here is that you will not get higher rate, no matter what documentation you may have. If we could we would have made it faster. Providing more details will only increase the level of hobby-level support. If you need higher speed then this camera is not the right answer. We are always available to answer question, before and after you order.

If you look around the web, you will see how GHI really document netmf the most. We are still always looking to improve and will pass your comments to the right people.

My expectation and requirement is 1 image per 5 minutes; yours is more than that. You may also be expecting netmf to do the processing in the middle; probably an assumption too far IMHO, given the potential amount of data. Anyone I’ve ever seen who embarks on an image processing project needs specific processors with proper full-speed camera interfaces, as specialised devices. A generalised connection like a USB webcam, or a serial cam, are never going to match the speeds most image processing needs.

I trust GHI to be a trusted supplier to me and have trusted suppliers; as Gus says, they’ve milked the device to it’s capabilities, if you need more then it’s a case of needing a different solution

@ Gus - Would you be so kind to copy the links in your web site are related the documentation of Serial Camera L1/L2 ? :slight_smile: