Himax Unveils Low Power VGA Sensor

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

GlobeNewswire: Himax announces the commercial availability for HM0360, said to be an industry-first ultra-low power and low latency BSI CMOS sensor with autonomous modes of operations for always on, intelligent visual sensing applications such as human presence detection and tracking, gaze detection, behavioral analysis, and pose estimation for growing markets like smart home, smart building, healthcare, smartphone and AR/VR devices. Himax is currently working with leading AI framework providers such as Google and industry partners to develop reference design that can enable low power hardware and platform options to reduce time to market for intelligent edge vision solutions.

One of the key challenges to 2-dimensional image sensing for computer vision is the high power consumption and data bandwidth of the sensor and processing,” said Amit Mittra, CTO of Himax Imaging. “The HM0360 addresses this opportunity by delivering a very low power image sensor that achieves excellent image quality with high signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range, which allows algorithms to operate under challenging lighting conditions, from bright sunlight to moonlight. The VGA resolution can double the range of detection over Himax’s HM01B0 QVGA sensor, especially to support greater than 90-degree wide field of view lens. Additionally, the HM0360 introduces several new features to reduce camera latency, system overhead and power consumption.

Smart sensors that can run on batteries or energy harvesting for years will enable a massive number of new applications over the next decade,” said Pete Warden, Technical Lead of TensorFlow Lite for Microcontrollers at Google. “TensorFlow Lite's microcontroller software can supply the brains behind these products but having low-power sensors is essential. Himax’s camera can operate at less than one milliwatt, which allows us to create a complete sensing system that's able to run continuously on battery power alone.

Unique features of HM0360 include:

  • Several autonomous modes of operation
  • Pre-metering function to ensure exposure quality for every event frame
  • Short sensor initialization time
  • Extremely low less than 2ms wake up time
  • Fast context switching and frame configuration update
  • Multi-camera synchronization
  • 150 parallel addressable regions of interests
  • Event sensing modes with programmable interrupts to allow the host processor to be placed in low power sleep until notified by the sensor
  • Operating up to VGA resolution of 60 frames per second sensor at 14.5mW and consumes less than 500µW using binning mode readout at 3FPS
  • Supporting multiple power supply configurations with minimal passive components to enable a highly compact camera module design for next generation smart camera devices.

M0360 is currently available for sampling and will be ready for mass production in the second quarter of 2020.

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