Image Sensors Drive Next-Gen Computer-Vision Apps
By Mat Dirjish
STMicroelectronics is targeting the next generation of smart computer-vision applications with its high-speed image sensors that employ a global shutter, reportedly the preferred mode for capturing distortion-free images when the scene is moving or when near-infrared illumination is necessary. A combination of a unique silicon process and an advanced pixel architecture allows a smaller sensor pixel array on the top die, while keeping more silicon area on the bottom die to increase digital-processing capabilities and features.
The image sensors include the VD55G0 with 640 x 600 pixels and the VD56G3 with 1.5 Mpixels (1124 x 1364). Measuring 2.6 mm x 2.5 mm and 3.6 mm x 4.3 mm, respectively, both the VD55G0 and VD56G3 may be the smallest on the market in relation to resolution. Low pixel-to-pixel crosstalk at all wavelengths, specifically near-infrared, ensures high contrast for image clarity.
Embedded optical-flow processing in the VD56G3 calculates movement vectors without the need for host computer processing. Viable applications include augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), and 3D scanning.
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