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A 10 000 fps CMOS sensor with massively parallel image processing

by Jérôme Dubois, Dominique Ginhac, Michel Paindavoine, Barthélémy Heyrman
IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits ()
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A high-speed analog VLSI image acquisition and pre-processing system has been designed and fabricated in a 0.35 mum standard CMOS process. The chip features a massively parallel architecture enabling the computation of programmable low-level image processing in each pixel. Extraction of spatial gradients and convolutions such as Sobel or Laplacian filters are implemented on the circuit. For this purpose, each 35 mum times 35 mum pixel includes a photodiode, an amplifier, two storage capacitors, and an analog arithmetic unit based on a four-quadrant multiplier architecture. The retina provides address-event coded output on three asynchronous buses: one output dedicated to the gradient and the other two to the pixel values. A 64 times 64 pixel proof-of-concept chip was fabricated. A dedicated embedded platform including FPGA and ADCs has also been designed to evaluate the vision chip. Measured results show that the proposed sensor successfully captures raw images up to 10 000 frames per second and runs low-level image processing at a frame rate of 2000 to 5000 frames per second.

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