Sony Corporation announced the upcoming release of two models of intelligent vision sensors, the first image sensors in the world to be equipped with AI processing functionality.*1 Including AI processing functionality on the image sensor itself enables high-speed edge AI processing and extraction of only the necessary data, which, when using cloud services, reduces data transmission latency, minimizes any privacy concerns, and reduces power consumption and communication costs.
These products expand the opportunities to develop AI-equipped cameras, enabling a diverse range of applications in the retail and industrial equipment industries and contributing to building optimal systems that link with the cloud.
The spread of IoT has resulted in all types of devices being connected to the cloud, making commonplace the use of information processing systems where information obtained from such devices is processed via AI on the cloud. On the other hand, the increasing volume of information handled in the cloud poses various problems: increased data transmission latency hindering real-time information processing; security concerns from users associated with storing personally identifiable data in the cloud; and other issues such as the increased power consumption and communication costs cloud services entail.
The new sensor products feature a stacked configuration consisting of a pixel chip and logic chip. They are the world’s first image sensor to be equipped with AI image analysis and processing functionality on the logic chip. The signal acquired by the pixel chip is processed via AI on the sensor, eliminating the need for high-performance processors or external memory, enabling the development of edge AI systems. The sensor outputs metadata (semantic information belonging to image data) instead of image information, making for reduced data volume and minimizing any privacy concerns. Moreover, AI capability makes it possible to deliver diverse functionality for versatile applications, such as real-time object tracking with high-speed AI processing. Different AI models can also be chosen by rewriting internal memory in accordance with user requirements or the conditions of the location where the system is being used.