Skip to main content

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Stereo vision with hybrid signal processing chips

A newly developed image capturing and processing system is able to emulate human binocular stereo vision at ultra high speeds. This is achieved through the use of new hybrid signal processing chips developed as part of the EU-funded DICTAM project.

Digital Economy

The Bi-i stereo vision unit uses two new processors, capable of capturing and processing 10,000 images per second, resulting from the project Dynamic Image Computing Using Tera-speed Analogic Visual Microprocessors (DICTAM). The processors are based on an innovative combination of analogue and digital circuitry. Analogue systems treat signals as continuously changing values, like varying currents in a circuit, while digital processors measure these varying values at discrete moments in time and treat the resulting series of numbers. The new chips, referred to as the ACE16K Focal Plane Array Sensor and Processor, aim to introduce a new class of uniquely high-speed image processing systems by combining these two technologies in one device. The new image processing architecture uses state-of-the-art mixed-signal design to work directly on analogue image signals derived from embedded optical sensors. Within the same chip, on the same silicon substrate, are interconnected digital processing units that include image sensing, concurrent processing and memory functions. The hybrid approach means there is no need for external sensory or analogue-to-digital conversion circuitry. The chips are combined into the binocular stereo vision system by the addition of only two more processors, one for control and one for communication. There are many potential applications in the field of moving images, specifically including; real-time dynamic image coding and compression, video authenticity and integrity testing, and visual inspection for automated production. The Bi-i has won the "Vision Award" at the Vision 2003 Exhibition and Trade Fair held in Stuttgart, Germany, October 2003, which is one the most prestigeous machine vision event of Europe.

Discover other articles in the same domain of application