Sunday, August 06, 2017

UNC Chapel Hill Asynchronous Sensor Architecture

University North Caroline at Chapel Hill presents "A Frameless Imaging Sensor with Asynchronous Pixels: An Architectural Evaluation" by Montek Singh, Pintian Zhang, Andrew Vitkus, Ketan Mayer-Patel, and Leandra Vicci at 2017 IEEE Intl Symposium on Asynchronous Circuits and Systems.

"The goal of this work is to develop a novel CMOS camera sensor that provides frameless capture, and has significantly higher dynamic range, finer color sensitivity, and lower noise as compared to the current state-of-the-art sensors. The strength of the approach lies not in developing new types of photodetectors or amplifiers, but in the manner in which information is extracted from the pixel sensor, transported to the processing logic, and processed to yield intensity values. At the heart of the sensor is an asynchronous network to transport events from the pixel sensors to the off-grid processing circuitry. The asynchronous nature of pixel communication is the key to achieving frameless image capture."

The UNC Chapel Hill research group is looking for industrial partners who might be interested in the IP and in partnering with the group for further development.


  1. The computer science community is notorious for not bothering to do any in depth literature searches. When 3 of the first 4 references are Wikipedia, you know you are in trouble. It is just hard for me to take the work seriously under those circumstances. Come on UNC, try harder!

  2. You are right, Eric, I agree. But sometimes the same is true for IS guys doing Computer Vision :)

    1. You are wrong! An engineer can become an excellent salesman but a salesman can never be trained to be an engineer :)=

    2. No, you are wrong. A child can be trained to be an engineer. We do this by millions, year after year. Come one. We are not that special.

    3. No I misunderstand me. I mean that when a child has been trained as engineer, he has still a good chance to be trained as saleman, but a child comes from a business school and he has almost no chance to come back to engineer.

    4. I'll respectfully disagree. I have worked with sales people (whether with engineering background or not) whose practical technical skills and expertise could not be matched by most engineering types doing R&D. Cannot honestly recall anyone from sales transitioning into R&D, but I don't think it was for lack of ability - good ones found satisfying careers in sales, why transition. Transitions tend to be harder and harder later in the career, there is too much vested in one's current track that does not readily transfer into another field or even specialty. But I reject notions that "engineering" (in itself such a broad and ill-defined category) is somehow inaccessible to people doing sales (also a broad and diffuse art involving a lot of product strategy and product engineering). If you mean that it would be hard to transition into something specialized, like transistor-level circuit design or device engineering, especially at a high-expertise level, then I agree, but that would be true for a lot of people clearly practicing engineering. Expertise in domains is hard-won and domain-specific. Would a mechanical or structural engineer become a device engineer easily or even successfully? Easier than a sales guy? I doubt it.


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