French neuromorphic AI chip developer Prophesee has launched a development kit to support its device for low power event-driven image processing.
Prophesee’s patented Metavision sensors and algorithms mimic how the human eye and brain work to dramatically improve efficiency in areas such as autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, IoT, security and surveillance, and AR/VR.
This neuromorphic approach needs more support for developers.
“The eye is not really sending an image to the brain, there’s no clock, its asynchronous and event based, so the retina reacts to motion to changes in the scene and our sensor is doing the same,” said said Luca Verre, CEO and co-founder of Prophesee.
“Each pixel is independent and asynchronous, and each pixel monitors the scene and reacts to changes of contrast. Very often this is due to the motion in the scene and generates an event, that carries the X,Y position of the pixel, the time of the change and the size of the change, and we are embedding analog processing that makes it smart.”
The current third generation VGA sensor has a 640 x 480 resolution on a 15um pixel pitch and is built using a 180nm process with the photodiode sitting with the analogue and logic in the die with a 30 percent fill factor.
The company signed a deal with Sony to develop the fourth generation sensor. This will use Sony’s 36nm sensor CMOS process for a 720p HD sensor with 1m pixels. This uses two stacked wafers, one with the pixels on a 4.86um pitch, and the other with the processing. This makes the die 10 times smaller and a fill factor of nearly 100 percent.
“The software will complement the sensor with the largest software development kit for event based vision,” said Verre. “This is a big milestone as for the first time we are offering the results of five years of work by over 20 engineers on over 100 projects for