Sony to Release World’s First Intelligent Vision Sensors with AI functionality

sony vision sensors

Sony Corporation announced two models of intelligent vision sensors, the first image sensors in the world with AI processing functionality. It enables speedy edge AI processing and extraction of necessary data hence reduces data transmission latency, minimizes privacy concerns, and reduces power consumption.

Model Name Sample Shipment Date Sample Price (Excluding Tax)
IMX500 1/2.3-type (7.857 mm diagonal) approx. 12.3 effective megapixel intelligent vision sensor (bare chip product)April 202010,000 JPY
IMX501 1/2.3-type (7.857 mm diagonal) approx. 12.3 effective megapixel intelligent vision sensor (package product)June 2020 (planned)20,000 JPY

The spread of IoT has resulted in all devices connected to the cloud, making the commonplace the use of information processing systems and process it via AI on the cloud.

The new sensor products feature a stacked configuration consisting of a pixel chip and logic chip.

These are the world’s first image sensor to be equipped with AI image analysis and processing functionality on the logic chip.

sony vision sensors
Intelligent Vision Sensors, Left: IMX500 Right: IMX501

The signal acquired by the pixel chip is processed with AI on the sensor, eliminating the need for high-performance processors. The sensor outputs metadata hence make reduced data volume and minimizing any privacy concerns.

Moreover, the AI capability makes it possible to deliver diverse functionality for many applications with high-speed AI processing. Different AI models can also be chosen by rewriting internal memory under user requirements.

Its key features are:

  • World’s first image sensor equipped with AI processing functionality: The logic chip is equipped with Sony’s original DSP dedicated to AI signal processing, and memory for the AI model.
  • Metadata output: The extracted information output as metadata, reducing the amount of data handled.
  • High-speed AI processing: The new sensor products from Sony perform ISP processing and high-speed AI processing on the logic chip, completing the entire process in a single video frame.
  • Selectable AI model: Users can write the AI models of their choice to the embedded memory and can rewrite and update it according to its requirements or the conditions of the location where the system is being used. Also, the AI model can be rewritten from one used to detect heat maps to one for identifying consumer behavior.

You can read more details here.

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