SourceForge Valid HTML 4.0! CPiA webcam driver for Linux

  Recent News
  Supported Webcams
  Technical Info

  Project Home

CPiA Links


The CPiA webcam driver for Linux provides a Video4Linux interface to many of the early cheap webcams that used the CPiA chip, and to the Intel QX3/QX3+ USB microscopes. Both parallel port and USB webcams are supported. The CPiA chip is no longer in production, and these webcams are no longer sold in stores, but can still be found on sites like eBay, etc.

Recent News

  • 2003-03-28 - Updated driver in Official Kernel 2.4.21pre6 pre-release: while the 2.4 Kernel source still is at the v 0.8 release of the cpia driver, it now has the updated Video4Linux interface and other fixes so it will again work correctly when the 2.4.21 kernel release occurs. (This affects behavior if the USB webcam is hot-unplugged while working, support of the QX3 microscopes, control of the camera via the /proc/cpia interface, and how the parallel port cameras share the system resources with other processes ...)
  • 2003-03-21 - Finally, most of the cvs code has made it into the Official Linux 2.5.x kernel source (as of the 2.5.66 development kernel). So the cpia code will live on in the 2.6.x kernels, for those still using these cameras or the QX3+ microscope...
  • 2003-01-10 - New release v 1.3.0 of CPiA driver: with DMA ECP parallel port support for 2.4.x kernels. Also now supports non-bidirectional parallel ports in nibble mode, and supports more than one USB camera on the same USB hub. An updated version 0.5 of the cpia-control application was also released.
  • 2000-04-17 - New documentation - CPiA command usage for QX3 microscope.
  • 2000-04-04 - New documentation - The Windows parallel port driver.
  • 2000-03-16 - New documentation - Some new documentation about advanced stuff such as flicker control, overexposure setting, and a definition of compression.
  • 2000-03-07 - SourceForge - Obviously we've moved to SourceForge. Until things stabilizes, see Peter's Page for uptodate releases of the driver.
  • 2000-02-07 - Driver update - Lot of work being done on the driver lately. For various reasons this page has not been kept too uptodate. This isn't likely to change, so please see the mailinglist for 0day info.
  • 2000-01-14 - Mailinglist moved - Peter has kindly taken over the mailinglist for now, see below for new address.
  • Older news


The mailinglist has lived a turbulent life. For now, the developer list is available here. This should be moved to SourceForge, unless we decide forums and bugtracker is more appropriate.

Supported Webcams

USBParallel port
Some cameras not supported by the CPiA driver

Technical info

The CPiA, or Color Processor Interface ASIC, is made by the company STMicroelectronics (was the Sottish company VLSI Vision Ltd. This is the documentation I have received from VLSI Vision respectively from STM. The accompanying mail explains what's in the file.

Some other useful information: