Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Chinese Startup RuisiZhixin Develops 8MP Combined Event-Driven and Regular Sensor, EET-China (Google automatic translation): Chinese startup Beijing Ruisi Zhixin Technology (English name AlpsenTek) presents hybrid vision sensors combining event-driven sensor and regular frame-based one in a single pixel array:

"The ALPIX-Pilatus (ALPIX-P for short) released by Ruisizhixin this time is developed based on "Hybrid Vision" and is the world's first chip that integrates traditional image sensor technology and bionic event camera technology in the same pixel . ALPIX-P can quickly switch between the traditional image sensor mode and the bionic event camera mode. In image mode, ALPIX-P is a global exposure sensor with a maximum frame rate of 120 frames, which is completely consistent with existing traditional image sensors and is fully compatible with existing mature vision systems. In the bionic event camera mode, ALPIX-P has the characteristics of ultra-high frame rate, high effective information ratio, and large dynamic range.

At present, the chip has begun to send samples. It also verified that the "Hybrid Vision" technology is feasible in mass production, cost, and performance .

Based on the design of ALPIX-P, Ruisi Zhixin has developed two ALPIX series sensor chip products, namely ALPIX-Titlis (abbreviated as ALPIX-T) fused low-power bionic vision sensor and ALPIX-Eiger (abbreviated as ALPIX-E). ) Fusion high-end bionic vision sensor.

The team has thoroughly studied the technical route of the bionic event visual sensor. In addition, the core founders all graduated from Cambridge University, ETH Zurich, Zhejiang University and other prestigious universities, and have many years of working experience in NXP, ARM, Freescale, Intel, Magic Leap and other companies. At the beginning of the establishment, the core team members were only about 6 people. Now the team has expanded to 50 people, of which R&D personnel accounted for 85% .

Recalling the financing history of RISZ, the company has now completed two rounds of financing. At the end of 2019, the company completed an angel round of financing of tens of millions of RMB. The investors were Zhongke Chuangxing and Lenovo Venture Capital . At the end of 2020, Ruisi Zhixin completed a Pre-A round of financing of nearly 100 million yuan, which was jointly led by Hikvision and Yaotu Capital.

The company explains the advantages of its hybrid sensors:

"Compared with traditional CIS, the bionic vision sensor has the characteristics of fast speed (>5000 frames/s), low power consumption (tens of mW), small data volume and large dynamic range (>120dB), which can successfully resolve the problem areas currently faced by computer vision as described earlier.

However, during actual operation, many scenarios require both event flow signals for rapid prediction, and traditional images for feature extraction.

AlpsenTek realized that the integration of bionic vision sensor chip and high-end image sensor chip technology may be a breakthrough.

This two-in-one function has the characteristics of low power consumption, high speed, high data efficiency and high dynamic range of bionic vision sensors. Compared with similar competing products, ALPIX effectively improves the signal-to-noise ratio of the chip, reduces noise, improves dark light performance, and meets the high performance needs demanded from customers.

Early on, many industrial giants in China recognized the potential of sensor chip technology. When AlpsenTek emerged with its unique technical strength, it also attracted the attention of giants in the industrial chain.

Recently, AlpsenTek secured USD15.5 million in a Pre-A round of financing. Investors include: Hikvision, Glory Ventures, Fargo Capital, iFlytek Venture Capital, Sunny Optical, Allwinner Technology, and Cowin Capital, in addition to previous shareholders Lenovo Capital and Casstar, who continue to invest."

"A product’s appearance is not designed, rather it is driven by the demand of the users,” the company's CEO Deng Jian says, “New technology can't change life, but new products have the power to do this.

The company's patent applications EP3731516 and WO2020216867 show its pixel structure:


  1. Cool approach. The progress in event based vision sensors is interesting to follow. Some years back I experimented with a evalboard of an early event based sensor. This also had a 'frame based' output in parallel to the event output but with quite poor quality. Back then I thought that I would probably try to combine a 'pure event sensor' with a 'pure 2d frame sensor' via beam splitter. But with all the progress in fabrication technology, e.g. stacking, the chance is high that more and more functions can be added to the basic pixel functions (photodiode and a few transistors) and that all work reasonably well.

  2. is the regular sensor mode with 3T pixel?

  3. This is almost the same as DAVIS made by ETH team.

    1. Yes the concept is quite similar to DAVIS. One big unknown is the pixel size, it looks like a lot of circuitry.

    2. This means that their patent application has no chance to pass?


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